The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 7th December, 2018.

It has been a week of this and that.  Mainly December is going too fast for me and I have things to get to the post office asap or I will be too late!

We have had two days of heat.  It was far from the worst heat we will have but a glimpse of farm life in the hot weather.  Yesterday I covered all my garden veggies with old sheets and net curtains.  Still some things I missed were burned.  But it is mostly doing ok.    It is so hot doing the watering morning and night.  I always knew that in the heat I will need to stay inside mostly during the day and having loads of projects to work on will be good.  I have a lot lined up... craft time will finally get some attention!

Early in the week I made two batches of shortbread.   This is so good.  It is very fast and easy since you do not have to cut out shapes,  I just press it into a deep dish pizza pan.  It needs a side so you get a neat edge... I always do it with baking paper underneath.   This recipe is not crumbly... in fact you probably need to add flour until it is not sticky but it is silky smooth.  The recipe is here.

I made a second bach using gluten free flour.  Well it tasted beautiful but it was so crumbly.  So I broke it all up,  put it into snap lock bags and belted it senseless with a rolling pin.  I have re named it "crumble topping" and "cheesecake base."  It will be beautiful for both of these things! 

Early in the week we had some rain.   I could see rain in the distance and soon it poured here.  

This was wonderful!

I baked a ham with honey over the top.  This gave us cold meat for this weather and I don't have to use the oven at all on hot days.  I do a heap of salads and it is so easy and we love it.

My roses from last week were past their best so I salvaged some buds and hung them up to dry.

I have quite a supply of dried roses.  They are lovely on parcels, soaps and food packaging.  A bag of dried roses or petals is a gift in itself to somehow who loves making beauty products etc.

I took up two pairs of jeans.

I made a big lot of honey gingerbread.  This is so nice.  The whole family lines up for this.  Chloe has a post box at the end of her driveway like I do.  I put a tin in there for her to find.

I took a tin up to the girls.  This recipe is very easy and cuts into shapes nicely.  The recipe is here.

We still have never turned on the tv although we do have one.  We sit outside most nights and eat our dinner and these guys and their antics entertain us...

They nest in the hollows of our big gums.  

I worked a crochet edge around more kitchen towels.  Also I tried a new stitch to start a heap of wash cloths.  I am hoping to learn one new stitch a week and make a wash cloth.   I need to write down the names and where to find how to do each stitch as I will lose track of which is which and how to go back to a previous one.  Mainly I get them from you tube as I am no good at following patterns but I can watch and copy. 

I thought patterns were difficult until I found out almost all patterns are only chain, single and double crochet.. in different orders.  

Every night I check the fruit trees.   Dad came today and said I should plant a Quince tree and I agree. 
The mystery fruit now looks like this...

I am amazed how fast they are growing.  

I have to tell you that Maria's daughter had her baby boy safely today and Maria sent me photos!! He is gorgeous with so much dark hair!!  So a very happy day.

My chickens will be ready to pick up next week.  And we are going to look at some geese next weekend!  

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your home, save or get ahead?
How are you managing in this busy season?
When I get some spare moments I wrap a parcel.  Little moments add up!
All day today the internet did not work.  Tonight finally I can post and I am really glad to look over the week... and doing so I forgot to mention the biggest thing...
Andy changed the van over to a ute. In US you would say truck I think.   The van could not even get to Mum and Dads farmhouse, this is how rough the roads are.  So it had to be done.   Andy is pretty happy with it.   I think of this as a big investment and part of our preparedness and setting up a homestead.  So this was a big thing for us this week. 

Have a wonderful


  1. It sounds like you are really settling into farm life, Annabel. It is so hard to be active during the heat so having lots of indoor projects on the go is preferable to being outside. Our new aircon units should be connected up in just over a week so they should be ready to go when the next heatwave hits. The older we get the harder it seems to be to handle the heat. I am still sorting out things in our new kitchen so haven't achieved too much in other areas this past week.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      I better pop over to see if you posted pictures of your new kitchen! New air-conditioning will be wonderful. I dont think I could live without air conditioning now. We can get 47 here! I have realised we have to be sensible, plan our day and activities... the heat is very wearing. We havent had over 40 yet, 38 seemed hot enough. It is lovely now so we are getting outdoor stuff done. Only last night we talked about what to do while the weather is mild again... the indoor stuff can wait until the heat. So life revolves around the weather a lot!
      Have a lovely Sunday! With love

  2. Dear Annabel ,thankyou and all the prayer warriors , our baby grandson arrived safely as mentioned above. It's been a very long day for our daughter and partner,for various reasons , the main thing is they have a beautiful boy .WE are all in love! Ive had lots of cuddles today and he's slept through it all.
    This is a helpful post Annabel , reminding me of your shortbread and gingerbread recipes , I will be making the shortbread for master 4 1/2 when he comes on Tuesday .He was pointing out shortbread rounds cut in wedges , that he saw in the supermarket flyer , asking me to buy him some.
    Gorgeous colour of roses,had to smile thinkign of you covering such a large area with sheets and nets,but if it works why not.I cant imagine your heat when we think 25 here is hot at times and I already keep some towels/throws on the front black seats to sit on , one day because its cold and the next because its hot.
    Hooray to Andy getting the new truck , hopefully making it an easier ride on your bumpy roads.
    Pleased that you got a good bout of rain before the heat sets in.
    All of my presents are wrapped and labelled ,one combo of Christmas and birthday needs to be posted this week , and that should be that job finished.Two days have been taken up with minding grand children ,I made 6 jars of chutney with tomatoes not being used.Two for gifts and others for family.Made an orange cake with the last orange and some butter biscuits.And taken 3 grandchildren to visit their great grandparents over two visits this week.
    Once again thankyou everyone, we are so thankful g/baby is here, and our daughter is okay and had good doctors taking care of her today .
    With love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, Congratulations. I am sure you are relieved at this point!
      You did well to baby sit and still get chutney made!
      I hope both Mum and baby are doing well now... with much love

  3. Annabel I am so glad you have settled into your farm so well and your shortbread and honey and ginger snaps look lovely.

    On Tuesday we move into our own farm too but it won't reach settlement until the 17th of December as the owners are away overseas. We have moved all of our manure, hay, firewood and all the gardening equipment out to the farm sheds so far.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $1071.47 in savings last week.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 6 shave sticks from our local pharmacy on a 15% off sale saving $3.54 on usual prices.
    - Bought a 280g juar of vegemite on special saving $1.50 on usual prices.
    - DH purchased a 250m roll of 8mm sisal rope using a $10 off purchase saving $93.50 over buying it locally in shops here per metre.
    - Purchased a pole chainsaw/lawn hedger on a 20% off special with a voucher on eBay saving $519.75 on usual prices in the stores here.

    In the kitchen-
    - Made a lemon cheesecake saving $69.78 over buying them in the local cafes here.
    - Made a quadruple batch of oat, honey, almond, coconut and sultana granola saving $27.85 on buying it.

    Insurances -
    - By asking further questions about our home insurance I found our our ride on lawnmower would covered under our accidental damage house insurance saving a further $270.33.

    We are truly exhausted now but will keep pushing on until Tuesday for our move and will take out further loads of our bed and other items on Monday to the farm.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :) and I am glad Maria that your daughters baby arrived safely with minimal complications.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna)

    1. Thankyou Lorna, wishing you all the best with your move on Tuesday ,with love Maria xxx

    2. Dear Lorna,
      You have a very big and exciting week ahead!! Don't you think it is so nice that you will be in your home for Christmas? It is also great you can move and not have to wait for the 17th saving you rent as well.
      Thank for mentioning the ride on lawn mower. We need to check this out ourselves..
      You have done well and I know it is a lot. Many times I saw what we needed to do and thought it was a mountain and we would never get there. One think at a time we conquered. Once at the farm it all started again lol but when you are working on setting up and establishing things in your own place it is different. Long term things are worth while. Planting fruit trees and things that will pay you back in years... it is really wonderful.
      I love the sound of the lemon cheesecake! I might make one this week now!
      All the best for the week. I cant wait to hear how things are by next weekend! With love

  4. Annabel,
    I an so happy to see you are settling into Farm Life so well.
    I am overjoyed to hear Maria's Grandchild came into the world with no complications.

    Andy purchasing a truck was such a good investment for so many reason. I know it will come in handy for many things besides just getting around.

    I was giggling when you mentioned getting set with in-home projects for the summer to avoid the outside heat. I am doing the same here but for completely opposite reason, due to the bitter cold.

    Your cookies look delicious, I am just collecting ingredients for our cookie baking marathon here, my 2 older Grandchildren look forward to the event every year, though making and baking over 1,000 cookies is work. It gives us time to be together and really talk about things.
    I am so behind on gifts, we have purchased but I have yet to wrap and bow any. I haven't even found my tote of boxes as of yet. (The joys of moving.)

    I was blessed this last week with our 24th Anniversary. The rug we ordered for our Family Room finally arrived, after 6 weeks. Perfect timing since our weather has turned frigid. Oh course my husband looked at me and said Happy Anniversary, I did tell him he wasn't getting off that easy. He did take me out for a delicious breakfast of cheesecake filling French toast topped with blueberries.

    I am going to try to make a new cookie this Christmas, they are spiced cookies called Speculass, when I was a child my Parents purchased them at the store, they were windmill shapes. I want to surprise my Dad with homemade ones as one of his gifts.

    May you have a joyous, peaceful December.

    1. Thankyou Rosanne for you kind words. Belated happy anniversary wishes to you both .
      That is a huge amount of cookies to be making !And I love speculaas cookies,My father was Dutch and we had them a lot .I even have a speculaas spice mix I made up from a Dutch friend which I use in making a spice loaf . Good luck with making the cookies , your dad will love them Im sure , Love Maria xxx

    2. Dear Rosanne, We live parallel lives. Both settling in to new homes. Both getting ready to be able to be inside safe and sound in the extreme weather and both will be crocheting for some of that time!
      Do you really bake over 1000 cookies? That is incredible. A marathon is a good fun idea especially with the Grandchildren. Cookies make beautiful gifts.
      Congratulations on your anniversary. French toast with blueberries sounds beautiful!
      I think if you would take some photos of your cookie making marathon and all the results... everyone would love to see this. It would be so inspiring!
      Your Dad will also love the surprise!
      Have a good week! With love

  5. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, your crochet work is so beautiful. I enjoy knitting, but can't seem to get the hang of crochet. And that gingerbread looks amazing!

    Food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were cooked and brought from home. Cooking-up included chicken and noodles, roast and potatoes, pasta sauce, and a big pasta bake. Something else I do every day, and thought might save others some money, is bring my own wonderful teas from home to enjoy in my office at work. (My office provides very nice coffee, but no tea or decaf options.) The cafe charges $3 for one hot tea, so those savings add up quickly! It also keeps a lot of paper cups/plastic lids out of the landfill, as I use a nice pottery mug that I brought from home.

    Home: Lots and lots of laundry! I also cleaned out the fridge and kitchen cabinets, and made my lists for holiday dinner needs.
    My husband cut and hung two rows of shelves in our guest bedroom closet for an inexpensive, hidden indoor pantry. It is so convenient and easy! I am sure it would have cost a lot more than the supplies to have someone do this for us. (There are enough supplies left for him to hang a few shelves in the home office closet where I keep my crafting supplies.)
    He also used his carpentry skills to fix a drawer in a vintage wooden dresser that was his dad's - it looks great and is again functional!
    I organized our gift wrap rolls and bags in a large wheeled rubbermaid that I found at the thrift store for $4.97. It rolls right under the bed and freed a lot of closet space.
    My husband put up our trees and I decorated them with my cross-stitched ornaments, ribbon, and our collection of ornaments from friends and family. We have a small tree in our bedroom this year, too, and I just love it!

    Shopping: A trip to the thrift shop gave me a footed teacup and saucer hand-painted with violets (97 cents) and a new copy of Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer ($1.99). A different thrift had a beautiful, very large painting that was perfect for our living room ($16!).

    Entertainment: We had a movie date at home (dvd from the library), and went horseback riding together.

    I finished another pair of stripey socks (Solar, a free pattern from Ravelry) and put some stitches into my Cake Menu piece that will decorate our kitchen when I'm done. I also started a winter hat and a pair of socks with a lace panel.

    Gifts: Our TJMaxx had very nice bath & body sets for $12.99 (about 50% off retail), so I purchased some for holiday gifts.
    My mom's holiday x-stitch gift is finished and I found a nice frame at TJ Maxx for $6.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, I can knit but not well. I decided crochet is more forgiving of wonky stitches!
      I like to take tea bags everywhere. I love tea. A coffee in the morning is ok sometimes but mainly I drink tea. It seems to keep me going. Not buying drinks out would save many people hundreds a year. People spend a fortune!
      Your husbands handy man skills are also saving you such a lot. I think it sounds just beautiful to have a Christmas tree in the bedroom! Lovely.
      What great finds at the thrift store. I love the title "Don't panic dinners in the freezer" that is brilliant. And true! Dinners in the freezer is the smartest thing!
      I love the sound of the stripy socks but I am fascinated about the ones with the lace panel... you are going to have to show us that when you are finished!
      I hope you have a good new week. It is getting so busy... I have a long list this week! With love

  6. I always find it interesting to get a view of your part of the world around Christmas. It is so different than our snowy scenes. I have shortbread to make either Saturday or early next week. They are to be gifts for company we will see the following Sunday. They love shortbread and I love that it is so easy (I have a Christmas mold.)

    1. Dear Brenda, I really should get a Christmas Mold for making shortbread. mmm I might look into that. It would make it look so nice!
      To me the white Christmas we see in the movies is just so pretty. Totally different to anything I have ever known! We are more likely to have a hot day but we still have our roast turkey and pudding. Must be crazy lol!
      With love

  7. I made a batch of sweet chilli sauce from long red chilli’s I grew. When they are ripe, I pick them and put them in the freezer (I repurpose a bread bag to store them in) when I’ve got half a kilo of chilli’s I make the sauce. I save nice small bottles to bottle it in to. It made 3 1/2 bottles which will likely last until I have enough chilli’s to make another batch. One less thing I have to buy from the supermarket 😁

    1. Dear Cheryl, Chilli saúde would be really good! It must pack a punch with half a kilo of chilli! This could be a great gift for someone who loves their chilli.
      Have a good new week!! It is going to be busy I think! With love

  8. Hello Annabel and Bluebirds. So much lovely news from your end and Welcome to Marias new Grandson! I am working full time nowadays, and finding a whole new routine and things to love about it. Working in an industry that helps and supports people with a family member that has a disability is incredibly rewarding and not a day goes by that I don't think myself fortunate to have such a wonderful opportunity. Husband and Daughter should be the ones reporting to the Bluebirds nowadays and I am incredibly proud of how they are bubbling along without input from me! They are shopping, cooking, doing the laundry, wrapping gifts, feeding the cat and the dog, and keeping up generally speaking. Of course, what is lacking is the many invisible things I've always done that made our lives comfortable, but financially we can splurge a little on some of those things. A cleaning lady comes once a fortnight and scrubs the bathrooms, mops the floors and cleans windows. I take my car to the carwash once a fortnight too. So there are small trade-offs, but they are constructive ones. I'm enjoying a day at home today, catching up on sewing and reading, baking and fluffing, and generally feeling like my old self for a minute. Happy times. Sending love. Mimi xxx

    1. Thankyou Mimi ,g/son is beautiful hehe Im in love yet again ;-)
      So pleased for you that your new job is goign so well and family are filling in the gaps at home that you normally fill albeit slightly differently. Remember to have a rest , love Maria xxx

    2. Dear Mimi, I am glad it is going so well and it is a big adjustment. It is lovely how your husband and daughter have stepped up and also I would say great experience for your daughter. She is going to be so capable when she has her own house and family. That is wonderful.
      Probably it just being December would add to how busy things are as that is the case for all of us! I am looking at the date thinking !!! as it is.
      Have a restful and lovely Sunday! With much love,

  9. Congratulations to Maria and her family on the safe arrival of her grandson. That is so very exciting. I love how you haven't been eating tv, I love having time away from screens. It's so relaxing and good for the soul, I think. Your roses are beautiful and I love your shortbread. I will have to try and make your honey gingerbread. They sound delicious! I can't wait to do some Christmas baking. We have had a terrible heatwave, but it is raining today. So it makes it so much easier to do things (plus great for the plants). During the heatwave we had lots of salads too. It saved me! I have been wrapping when I can. I have finalised a few gifts now. It's a lovely time of year. Sending you lots of love, Bridge

    1. Thankyou Bridge , sounds like you are getting ahead with all your gifts despite the heat , glad you've had some rain to cool things down.Love Maria xxx

    2. Dear Bridge,
      The no tv is good! We dont have time anyway. Sometime when tennis is on we will watch that (I like the Australia Open) and then footie but no "news" shows etc ever again! They are not telling the truth anyway!
      The boys would love the recipe Bridge. I go easy on the spices for the kids but the honey is lovely... cut them out small for the little ones.
      Enjoy this time as with children it is so sweet. Like magic! I love it too. Have a wonderful new week, with love

  10. The mystery fruit - are they Custard apple?

    1. I think a type of apple for sure. And will be red! Each day they get a deeper colour. And bigger!! They grow so fast! I will post photos when I start picking! xxx

  11. Dear Annabel, Your happiness with your new life just makes me smile and warms my heart. So nice to hear in the world we live in.
    Thank you for the recipes I hope to be doing some baking in the next little while.

    Have a wonderful week!


    1. Dear Laurie,
      Thank you. I hope you get your baking done. I am trying to do something each week.
      So many people are having such a hard time I am noticing. And the news is awful. We have to count our blessings that is for sure and take joy in the little things. I am finding no tv is helping me and being in nature... as it is still the same as ever and so beautiful. And happy! Have a good new week, with love

  12. Hi Annabel and everyone

    Congratulations Maria, that's lovely news! So pleased everyone is safe and healthy. How wonderful to have a new baby boy to cuddle.

    Hi Mimi! Nice to hear that your new job is going well and you are enjoying it. Also that you can splurge a bit too!

    Annabel I think this is the third or fourth year I've seen pictures of your shortbread and I am actually going to make it this year lol.

    I love Christmas baking, and packaging it up into gifts is so satisfying. I have a big week ahead of baking for teachers and hampers, the only thing I find is that by the end of the day the last thing I want to do is cook dinner!!! They will be fairly simple this week I think ☺

    Have a lovely week everyone
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, I was thinking the shortbread could be made in any tray of cake tin. This way you could make small complete rounds and when cold sit them on cardboard like a mini cake board and they would look so sweet. The recipe is very moist and you keep adding flour and icing sugar until it is a beautiful smooth consistency and it is not crumbly and dry like the mixes I used to make and be disappointed with. It is so delicious. Oh... in a cake tin etc I would make it about 1 cm or a little over thick...
      This time of year simple meals are best! We are living on cold meat and salads and simple grills just now. It is nice. I made a huge rice salad yesterday which will give us three days.
      Have a restful Sunday if possible!! With love

    2. Thankyou Jen in NZ (where I am ), for your kind words, I know you are a busy with your family and end of year gifts . Youve given me an idea as I want to make Annabel's shortbread too,and it would be nice to give to my g/kids teachers as DD cant manage anything much at the moment while she's recovering.Ive prepped Lasagna ready to be cooked tomorrow with vege and a banana choc cake to take to her place, as she came home this afternoon. Seems way to soon to me after her Friday op.Take care and good luck to both of us making the shortbread :-) Love Maria xxx

  13. Your shortbread is beautiful. You were smart to reuse those crumbly bits for something else. It is so, so cold here that a hot day sounds heavenly. Eating outside and watching the birds sounds wonderful.

    We are still looking for another house. Nothing yet but but seems that if the house is wonderful then the neighborhood is not so great or if the neighborhood is nice then the house needs a complete renovation. God knows our need and it is a comfort to rest in that.

    Have a lovely weekend. Much love, Lana

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you!! It is weird to be the opposite in weather. In movies it is always Christmas with snow, jumpers (sweaters) ice skating and stuff and so odd to us!! Yet snow looks so very pretty and romantic.
      I feel your right house will come. Jenny and her husband were waiting to buy their house as many of us moved this year, Rosanne also. BOTH of them were house hunting when we were moving. Both got a bit frustrated with it and then in the same week I think both found THE PERFECT house to their amazement. This is what I said to them... pray and God will send you the right house and you will know it because it will feature things you always dreamed of, things you never even thought to tell anyone or list as a requirement but that were in your heart all along and you will be amazed and know this is your house. This happened to me so it was fresh in my mind.
      I said yes to this house without ever seeing inside as I believed God lined it up through Dad. So that was a bit nerve wracking lol and when the day finally came to look inside there was my dream kitchen, farm house stove, combustion heater I can cook on in winter, thick old fashioned huge glass windows... wooden floorboards, massive cupboard space, lots of light, outdoor living and eating area and ..... a walk in fully shelved pantry. I was in awe. I could not have planned it. I felt so blessed.... the HE thought of the details down to my inner hearts desires no one even new. So you will know!
      I will pray about it and just wait and you will know! With much love

    2. Thank you so much for the encouragement. In my heart I know those things but looking is so hard along with leaving this house of almost 25 years where our children grew up.

  14. I vowed in July that when our family moved into their own home in August I would remove every broken, worn down and ugly bit of furniture from my home. John finally hired the skip/dumpster. I have a new foundation coming for our new mattress, a new mattress for the guest bed coming and a new kitchen pantry cabinet coming so the old one can go out and then that skip is officially filled. My son decided to take the dresser that was also leaving the house which makes me happy. It was nice enough but simply no place to put it here. Now I have officially finished with 2018 home plans and will begin a list for 2019.

    1. Well done Terri! You had a big year with family staying during renovations and so on. As nice as this is it is a lot!
      You did well and it is so nice to consider the year and start some dreams for the new year. I am not quite up to that but soon I will really consider new goals and plans. I write it all down. This year was bigger than expected! We have to embrace opportunities that is for sure! Have a levelly Sunday! With love

  15. Dear Annabel,
    Your baking looks lovely and so pretty packaged in those tins you made over. I'm glad to hear you got some rain. We got some too. It is always welcome :)
    I have already decided that one of my new year's resolutions is to write things down that I get done in the week. I think I will remember but I don't!
    There were some big things these past couple of weeks. We got our upright freezer! We got it half off on black Friday and now, after doing some rearranging, it is all set up. It's so wonderful and huge, perfect for storing all of our ice cream, I mean freezer meals! We decided to keep one of our chest freezers in case we ever have a cow butchered or if Colton harvests a deer and the upright is already full. Another bonus is that the store we ordered the freezer from had a promotion going, if you ordered over a certain amount (which we did) they would issue $25 in rewards each week for the next 10 weeks! So that is $250! The first week we bought John clothes for the next size he will wear. It ended up free. Now we are planning what else to buy, as the $25 expires after each week so you can't stack it. I am thinking new towels and more clothes for John and gifts for others.
    Another big thing was that I got a new dresser this past week! I have been looking for a certain type for nearly 3 years. I have searched second hand sites, garage sales, etc to no avail. Or if I see one I want it is far away or way too expensive. There is a building in our town that has been shut down for at least 8 years, and I never knew what was in it. Well they opened it up for a few days to sell what they had been storing and it was packed full of gorgeous antique furniture!! Needless to say, I found my perfect dresser and it had been there all along. We went on the day everything was half off and I ended up making an even better bargain with the salesman. I think John helped lol. I am really excited about it. I cleaned it all up and it looks so nice in our room. I just need to get some pretty paper to line the drawers with and I am all set.
    A friend that works with Colton gave us two more huge bags of clothes for John. I went through and got what I wanted. The rest will be passed on to a friend with a baby boy. I also found some organic baby food on clearance that I bought for her as I know things like that are so helpful.
    We have been harvesting from our garden and it has been such a blessing. Colton sauteed kale with bacon, onions, and garlic the other night on the outdoor griddle and oh was it delicious!
    I managed to get a few things added to the shop, as well as finishing up some custom orders. I still greatly struggle with photography. Colton's sister is a professional photographer and she said when she visits during Christmas, we are going to have a little product photography session and she will teach me how to take good photos! I'm so excited, hopefully I'm a good student. I told her I will pay her and she said, no way! It is an early birthday gift :) I can't wait! I also ordered business cards that should be here next week. I took advantage of a half off sale, so savings there too.
    I know there is so much more that we got done but I didn't write it down so it's lost forever lol. I hope everyone has a good weekend! And a big congratulations to Maria!!
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, What a good week!! I am so happy about your freezer. This will be wonderful. Also happy you kept the chest one and I hope Colton might get a deer. What a bonus that would be!
      And the dresser!! It is beautiful as you always wanted one and now you found one so close at such a good deal. I hope you will show me how it looks. I love pretty lined drawers also. Absolutely necessary!! I keep perfumed soaps inside drawers and cupboards that hold linen, clothes etc.
      The bonus $25 a week is fantastic. I would note in my diary to be sure not to miss a week. Getting clothes ahead for John is really good. I hope next Friday you will say what you did this week with that money. I know you will use it well but also what fun to have that to do!
      Help with photography is great. To me you do a very good job with photos and you have a great eye for styling. But any new tips will still be fun to learn and helpful to your shop.
      I have to write things down, initially I learned from Laine to keep track of what I did in a day rather than say "I dont know I was just busy" as she would show her husband what she had been doing, the new row planted in the garden or whatever. Now I track the savings on a list on the fridge. Sometimes a week seems like a year so no wonder we forget!
      I cant believe you re harvesting already. That seems so quick! I need to start too... I have basil ready plus spinach, chard, various herbs I can now pick... tomatoes, squash and zucchini almost!
      I hope you have another great week now. With much love

    2. Thank you Kelsey ,he's too gorgeous :-) Love Maria x

  16. Hi Annabel

    Sitting here last night I was procrastinating about looking for recipes for gingerbread and shortbread and decided to instead read "Bluebirds" so lucky I did as what did I discover but you sharing your recipes. Thank you so much as your ingredients are now on my shopping list for this week.

    Your new farmhouse views look so inviting so it is no wonder that you do not have the tv on at night, but just sit and relax outside and see what you have achieved each day. This would be so rewarding.

    The roses look beautiful and are a stunning colour.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      We are thinking the same things and cooking the same things! I hope your cooking turns out well especially if it is my recipes!
      I am enjoying the peace of birds and wildlife. Andy recorded the sounds last night as he was home and I am in Adelaide. it was near deafening lol but lovely. We do sit in the evening and talk over the day and plan the next. I love it! I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. I am thinking of you. With a little girl she will be excited and I know it will be hard for your family. I will drop you a note... With much love Annabel.xxxx

  17. Everyone has beautiful positive stories here Annabel. Congratulations Maria for another beautiful baby grandchild. May he be blessed with a long life full of love and happiness.
    We are the same Annabel, since the house has been on the market, we haven’t had the tv on and I don’t miss it yet.
    Saturday morning we woke to find the kelvinator fridge/freezer broken down. I only got it October last year. Quickly got my fridge out of my 4wd which runs via electricity or car battery. Thank goodness for that but lots of food spoiled. The freezer section still works but I whipped everything out and put it into my upright freezer, bought on same day. You don’t expect a fridge to break down after 14 months. Ringing them Monday morning.

    Thought I’d tell you, we went to a local nursery on Friday and decided to look at the gift shop attached. They had square knitted dishcloths in a packet of three for $24!
    Well I hope you have a good week. Fi. Xx

    1. Dear Fiona, I am hoping you quickly get a very keen buyer. I would thinks so the property and extra bonuses that come with it are really wonderful. The TV now seems very noisy to me and not good. Maybe just if I could watch lovely old movies and nice things but TV isn't like that anymore.
      Oh no on the fridge. I immediately imagined this happening with ours... we would lose a lot. Possibly being 14 months old they will do something.... I am hoping so!
      Thank you for telling me about the dish cloths! Today I went ito a kind of trendy gift store (Im in Adelaide) and there they were... knitted in greys and neutrals... with a band label around them... they looked super stylish and were set with wooden dish brushes and natural cleaning products. So I felt "on trend" haha! I love snooping in gift shops.
      I hope your week is going well. I have fresh in my mind the selling the house stage. It is stressful or I thought so. But when the deal was done it was a huge relief and we could start planning the next stage which was exciting.
      I hope you get to this stage soon! Then you can plan a wonderful 2019! With much love

    2. Thank you Fiona for you lovely words re our new g/son, love Maria xx

  18. Annabel I am going to make your shortbread and ginger biscuits this week. When I saw the shortbread photo I thought you had been doing something with lace. It is just beautiful.
    Maria congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful little man.I am so glad all went well and your daughter and her bub are doing well.
    We had a break from the heat with 5 days of delicious cool weather. Today it was hot by 8am. Oh well it wont take long to get the washing done.
    Ive been sewing up a storm for Christmas. Cushions are the feature item this year. I will be finished sewing gifting items by the end of ths week.
    Life spent in the sewing room is happy good.

    1. Dear Jane, I have a crown stencil somewhere but with moving it is SOMEWHERE in the craft room and thats as close as I could get so I used a paper doily. Still looked ok!
      I can just see you sewing away. I do hope that parcel arrived that you posted the girls... I am hoping it was just delayed rather than lost.
      Also speaking of storms I am seeing storms coming toward QLD but I dont know if near you yet. I am hoping now. Terrible weather is draining without actual damage and mess. Happy sewing, with much love

    2. Thanks Jane, he's doing well and so is our daughter ,love Maria xx

  19. Debby in Kansas, USA10 December 2018 at 14:17

    Before I read all the comments, my guess for the mystery fruit is pomegranites….which I can't remember how to spell!! Mind you, I haven't seen a bush/tree since I was about 10, the bottom of the fruit sure looks like that little set of *lips*.
    On my way home from school, there was an empty lot with pomegranates *hah! got it spelled right!* growing. We'd pick them when they were red and sit on the curb and eat them. Of course we'd be a huge red mess when we got home, but they were so delicious!!

    1. Dear Debby, Well we will soon know. When I get home (Im in Adelaide) I am going to pick one and cut it open surely the smell and inside will tell me now! There are so many of them so they better be useful!
      An empty lot with a fruit tree is fair game if they are falling on the ground... like the peaches in the laneway I got last year! All this rest rotted on the ground. I picked over 60 kilos! That is over 120 lbs I think. I just went back very night and picked as many as I could carry. It was crazy!
      I love your memory.... my Nan And Pa had a very old orchard. My brother and I would sit up in the walnut tree cracking walnuts. Such happy times. With love


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