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 10 January 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 11 January, 2019.

It has been a really good week!
First of all thank you to everyone who joined The Tuesday Afternoon Club.  And especially thanks to everyone who contributed.   The work you have all done in week one is just amazing.   I am working towards week two like mad!
Here on the blog we will have our first Tuesday Afternoon Club Show and Tell this coming Tuesday. If you would like to share your projects just email me

Some of the ways I feathered my nest this week include:

I made several pizzas.  We are now picking tomatoes everyday and there is basil also.  So I had a use it up meal.

There were very simple but delicious.

I planted more flowers in the garden.  We had a city trip so I came back with some gorgeous plants.

In the flower beds I found baby tomato plants coming up.  At first I noticed one and left it. But then I found eight!  So I transplanted them all into the veggie patch. 

Luke fixed up a fence for us.  Sheep could get through into the garden.   He did an amazing job and now I think we are sheep proof!

I made a batch of Lemon Butter.  

I was given lemons and I had eggs.  I have plans for this in cakes and tarts.

Mum gave me lots of lovely jars! 

With it being fruit season and tomatoes to harvest I need all the jars I can get.  I am so happy to build up my supply a bit!

In the city there are units over the road and someone was moving.  They put a very good looking Vax cyclonic vacuum on the side of the road.   Andy went and got it for me.  I tested it out... and it works like a dream.  Yesterday I downloaded the manual and followed that to take it apart and wash all the filters.  Now it is like new.   I had a hand held vac and a very heavy one.  The heavy one is too heavy for me.  This one is perfect.  It is also the quietest vacuum I have had.  I love it.   I joked with Andy that I am so pleased with it that it is like a present.
Oh... I also picked up a gorgeous mirrored frame on the side of the road!

In the garden things are really coming on.  Jane sent me sunflower seeds and they are now just starting to flower!

So happy!  When they are finished Ricky (the parrot) will get these for lunch!

I have so much spinach/silver beet and chard that each day I take a bunch to the chickens.   They LOVE it. 

The apple and pair trees are going really well.  All growing fast.  Soon I will be picking fruit!

We finally got a table and chairs for out on the deck.  We eat all our meals out there and I want it to be set up as a kind of outdoor room.   We shopped around for ages.  Outdoor furniture was all very expensive.   We found a solid teak table and wooden chairs in a second hand shop.   I am just setting things up but already my "room" is coming together...

In the shop where we found the table there was a giant stack of bird books.   To me they were dream books! 

They are full of hundreds of images like this one.  I got them for a song.   Then I saw a book that I knew a friend would love.  And her birthday is coming up.  I asked the price and the mans said "oh you can just have that!"   

Chloe gave me a gift.  The blog printed out into books.  This is all of 2018. 

The blog has become kind of a diary and family record now.  To have these printed out I know I have the story of how we came to live here all printed.  I am thrilled!

So that was my week!

How did you build up your nest, use it up, set it to good use and get ahead this week?

The weather is warming up so I need to get out and water everything.  Have a lovely day and wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. The pizza looks heavenly. My husband loves fresh tomatoes roasted on pizza.
    What a lovely week. Your fruit tree looks wonderful. Love the dining set. Such a beautiful setting to have dinner in.
    I love the idea of the blog book!!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you! I will be using tomatoes up in so many things! I am glad of the books. I remember Laine lost all her letters when her blog went down. It was only the internet archive that we re located them and printed those. That was a relief as we all thought they were lost forever! Have a lovely weekend! Love

  2. Annabel you forgot to mention that your busy week included your Birthday. Hope that it was all and more than you could have wished for. I loved the Tuesday Afternoon Club. It was so wonderful to see all the fabulous treasures everyone was working on.
    This week I made a small batch of lemon butter and a batch of sweet chilli jam. I have been working on the cot blanket as time allows.
    Our Patrol really needed a good clean out. This week it was completely emptied and given a thorough detail. I did much the same with the house as well. I think it was the week of the deep clean.
    Today I have some sewing that I want to get finished. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    Life is up and down good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Thank you! I did have a beautiful day! I kind of had two days that were wonderful!
      I need to do my car too. I love it when its clean. Enjoy some sewing time Jane, with much love,

  3. I always appreciate the Friday peeks into your achievements, Annabelle. I love your outdoor eating arrangements. It looks perfect!

    1. Thank you Earthmotherwithin, We love to be outside. Winter will be different but so far we have only ever eaten inside twice I think. It is like having an additional room and very sheltered out there. I sit out there in the evening and crochet too! xxx

  4. OMG! What a wonderful gift - your blog printed out!!! How awesome is that! Everything looks to be settling in just fine. Love the pictures too. :)

    1. Thank you Barbara! Yes I am so happy to have last year printed. Thanks so much! xxx

  5. Oh Annabel having your blog printed into book form is an absolute treasure. A forever keepsake, that will no doubt be handed down for generations to come, what a legacy to leave ♥️

    I noticed from one of your pantry photo's that you have images of birds on the glass jars, and I wanted to ask are they stickers or are they images cut out of magazines/books? If they are the latter how do you make them stick to the glass. I think this is a really sweet idea, and I have plans for my pantry this year where I might use a similar idea.

    Oh and Happy Birthday! (Jane dobbed you in) 😁🎂

    1. Dear Cheryl, The jars with the birds ... they are transfers/decals. The shop I got them from was on ETSY but it is closed now. But there are others similar. Look up Waterslide decals. So you soak them in water and slide them onto your surface. I later varnished over them with a little bit of clear varnish. I love them! You could also use stickers or cut outs.
      I always paint my jar lids and then often add a rose or something on top. I love jars as you know!
      Thank you for the birthday wishes! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  6. Dear Annabel, Happy Birthday (thanks Jane), What an amazing find that vac was. Chloe is very thoughtful, printing the blog is a perfect present. I have had a busy week with visitors. I got Reese Witherspoon's book for Christmas. Its lovely inside and out. This week I made her Nana Dorothea's Sun Tea for my guests - it was lovely and refreshing, I used Peach syrup I had on hand to flavour it. My tomatoes have began to ripen and we are enjoying eating our homegrown potatos that we harvested last week. I planted some more carrots and shallots today. My daughter (12) and I went on an opp shop odyssey and came across a never been used donut maker for $5. My daughter loves donuts and was so excited. I was able to print off instructions from internet and today we made perfect yummy donuts which made us both happy. Now im off to bake double batches of choc chip cookies and sausages rolls for mext weeks visitors. Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      I have that lovely book! It has so many lovely and charming ideas in it. I am trying the sun tea also!
      Making donuts will be great fun, maybe for back to school time too! Twelve is a good age for some cooking fun too. What a good find!
      The choc chip cookies and sausage rolls sound just yum. If you have spare sausage rolls they freeze very well.
      You did very well since having visitors usually slows down everything else! Have a good weekend! With love,

  7. How wonderful to have the blog printed out and bound! We received a large photo book from our daughter's family in Germany. We had seen all the pictures on Messenger but it is great to have a permanent record of 2018.

    1. Dear Lana, The book of photos was a wonderful gift for you. Seeing a year in photos is lovely. That was a very considerate gift.
      I am glad to have the blog printed for last year as it was such a big year like an adventure for us. It is family history in the making!
      Have a good weekend and new week! with love

  8. Dear Annabel,

    You have the best luck with op shopping and footpath treasures. Your outdoor table is gorgeous, and so lucky with the vacuum cleaner, especially that it works too! And those books, they are just perfect for you ~smiles.

    Chloe's gift is also just perfect, what a lovely treasure and keepsake for you all. I know someone else who used to blog and she had her whole blog copied and presented in a book, just before she closed it down. It was such a special keepsake to look back on for years to come.

    The Tuesday afternoon club is going really well on facebook and I cant wait until next Tuesday for the Bluebirds that are participating here on your blog.

    *This week I have been sorting out my crafty bits and pieces and my room that I am going to set up. I know I have said this before, but am determined this time to have my own space to create.

    *I made a reed diffuser using ingredients from home.

    *I wrote a list of the crafts I want to achieve and joined up with a few blogs that are running different kinds of crafty pursuits. Also joined a couple of face book groups (including yours). This will keep the motivation happening.

    *Made a fresh batch of laundry detergent.

    *Baked two loaves of sourdough bread this morning.

    *Made another batch of kombucha.

    *Using up what I have in the fridge before doing a shop.

    *Sold eggs.

    *Washed, dried outside, and put away clothes on this hot day (43C).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend,

    Love Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, I am so glad you are setting up a craft space. I count your sour dough, kombucha and cooking and preserves all in the making things challenge.
      I am glad you are looking forward to Tuesday! So am I! We had so many amazing ideas shared in week one. From this I got a whole list of ideas. Plus I am conscious that Tuesday is coming... and it drives me on to hurry up and get stuff done. So it is working for me!
      I am thinking it would be hot there again today. And I see some real heat ahead for us here so no doubt you will have that too. These times it is good to stay in the cool as much as possible so it is ideal crafting time, too hot to cook! Stay cool and have a lovely weekend! With love

  9. Dear Annabel
    Happy birthday lovely lady!! Hope you had a wonderful day! What a thoughtful gift the blog books were, especially after what happened with Laine’s. It’s a big pile and that’s just 2018, wow what a lot of work! Such a lovely keepsake for you and your family. I’m looking forward to the Tues Afternoon Club next week on the blog! Will be so fun to share in what we are all making! Love Kelly xo

    1. Dear Kelly,
      I have always known a blog or photos on the internet can be lost. And last year was such an adventure for us... so I am so happy to have it printed. I hope someday the Grandchildren will read our adventure!
      I am looking forward to Tuesday too! The first one was amazing!! I am working away so I have something decent to report! Have a good weekend! With love

  10. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Annabel! Happy Birthday to you! And what a wonderful gift you received from Chloe! That is just awesome. Your pizza pictures reminded me I haven't made pizza in awhile so that will be Friday night supper for us!

    This week I baked apple pie in my cast iron skillet using apples purchased from the discount bin - slightly bruised, but the pie was delicious! I purchased canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, pie crusts, and pumpkin spice marshmallows on clearance for less than half price. I purchased discounted tenderloin steaks and placed them in our chest freezer in preparation for Valentines Day when my husband will grill supper for us.

    I decided I want to follow a different "read through the Bible in a year" plan than my One Year Bible I normally use, and I found a used Parallel Bible (4 different translations of each passage on each page) at the Christian bookstore for under $4. I downloaded a free thematic plan and printed it out to follow.

    I have been busy reorganizing my scrapbooking/art supplies so I can be more productive this year and more aware of exactly what I do have to work with. I have a lot of goals related to this for 2019, such as wedding photos to scrapbook!

    I'm enjoying all the blog posts Annabel, so thank you! I'm sorry I have to miss out on the Facebook Tuesdays, but I'm hesitant to set up a Facebook account for fear I would end up wasting a ton of time on Facebook in general. I have resisted doing so for all these many years, but your group has tempted me sorely! LOL -Carla

  11. Happy Birthday hope you had a wonderful day. I went to the discount store today and bought some cheap tins of food and soft drinks then I went to coles and picked up a few things on special. Eating out of the cupboards and fridge and processing lots and lots of apricots. Early in the month but I think I can meet my saving targets.

    1. Dear Leanne, I am glad you feel on rack to meet your targets! I hope you do!
      All the apricots sound beautiful. Apricots are a favourite here. They are very useful too even is sweet or savoury. Have a wonderful new week! With love,

  12. You got your bird book for a song - Hee Hee

    Now the local op shop will get your old heavy vacuum cleaner and you got a new, free, lightweight one. Win win. Gail

    1. Dear Gail, Haha I didnt realise my own joke!! I am so happy with those books. My new vac is amazing and I love it... I did a big clean and washed the filters etc. So pleased. Have a good new week! With love

  13. Happy Birthday to you Annabel and I hope you had a wonderful day. Your outdoor table is divine and similar to one we have our eye on for our kitchen in the near future. What a blessing the vacuum cleaner was as well as the mirrored frame for free. As usual your cooking looks divine and there is nothing like using fresh garden produce in our cooking that we have grown :) .

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $1275.69 in savings last week :).

    Blessings -
    - Our neighbour who was overrun with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and Chinese egg plant and beans gave us around 5 kg of tomatoes, around a kilo of cucumbers, 500 g of string beans and about 500 g of Chinese
    eggplant. We blanched and froze most of it in meal sized portions and washed the tomatoes and froze them whole. She also had some whiting fillets and cod as her family and boyfriend like fishing but she doesn't eat a lot of fish so she kindly gave us about .5kg of each and said she will bring us more from her family when she visits them. What a lovely neighbour she is too :).

    Finances & Purchases -
    - DH earned $20 from a mowing job he did which we will save to buy some more whipper snipper cord with.
    - I paid all of our home loan fees and charges and extra part payments too paying off 1.66% off the capital of the home loan.
    - We purchased 8 pairs of jeans for $9 per pair delivered, 12 pr of underwear on special for 0.75c ea including delivery from Kmart along with a 70 cm fan saving $181.89 over buying them locally in the shops. Jeans are getting horrendously high in prices here ranging for $19 - $40 per pair :o and we only want to use some for gardening and work clothing and some for good wear.

    Repurposing, making things, house repairs and maintenance -
    - DH made a coat and hat rack out of a 1.39mt piece of Merbau decking and varnish we had and coat hooks we purchased for a good price saving $40.42 over buying an equivalent sized one in the hardware store.
    - DH fixed 2 leaks in outdoor pipes and taps by not buying any parts and using electrical tape and screwing a tap fitting tighter saving us $160 over calling a plumber to do it for us.
    - We fixed one of the shed doors that wasn't shutting due to ground swelling from the previous owners running the grey water into the sullage pit. We took the door off, cut it down shorter, cut a nitch in it so it closed around the pipe coming out the door and painted the hinge area that had no paint and the bottom of the door (with paint we had) and rehung it with new screws we had as the others were falling out. This saved us $135 over hiring a handyman to do this for us.
    - We purchased sullage hose, connectors and a sprinkler to link the grey water to a sprinkler to water the lawns and fruit and berry trees with it. This saved us $80 over getting a plumber in to do it for us.
    - We filled in huge dog dig holes from the previous tenants in the shed by chipping the dirt with hoes, picks and shovels and levelling it with our levelling tool saving us another $360 over hiring a handyman to do it for us.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a double batch of white sauce mix we also use for making homemade chocolate pudding from food storage saving $93.02 over purchasing the premade powder in the shops.
    - Cooked a double batch of chocolate brownies from premade brownie mix saving $66.18 over purchasing them by the slice in local cafe's.

    Hoping everyone had an equally good week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, It sounds like you have a wonderful neighbour! How fantastic! Having a good neighbour is beneficial in many ways. I am sure you will soon be doing all kinds of swaps with her too as she will be amazed when your own garden is up and running. I love everything she gave you.So helpful.
      Your husband saved such a lot with all the work he did. Not calling a plumber for instance is a big saving!
      Cooking is the most amazing saver. The brownies for instance... it is good to know the shop prices and work it out as you have done. It is a huge difference. I always think a days baking can add so many dollars to the household.
      Well done one a very good week. It is like here... I can see you are tackling things that need to be done and probably like here your list is long! But each week it all adds up and we are really seeing the results now. Anyone who comes here that came originally is just amazed!!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  14. Happy belated Birthday, Annabel! I hope you had the best day ever!

    I adore your outside dining room! Just gorgeous! Wonderful find on the table!

    And the vac on the side of the road? Wow! Fantastic!

    Beautiful gift from Chloe. How very thoughtful!

    I am learning something new that I will share next week with the Tuesday Club as I want to practice a bit more over the weekend.

    I had a quiet week, and didn't do too much, but I did receive a brand new punch needle book from a lady in my needle craft guild. SHe had it in her stash and never used it, but knew I do punch needle and wanted me to have it. Also in my needle craft guild (we had our monthly meeting), we have what we call a "sidewalk sale" every month. People bring things in they no longer use (craft wise) and put them out on tables and you can then go "shop" and just give a small donation if you pick something up. I got several pieces of gingham fabric for chicken scratch, two Crochet World magazines with gift ideas in them, and something else for just a few dollars.

    Have a lovely week!

    1. Dear Jenn,
      I will be excited to see what you are working on! I love the idea of the sidewalk sale and the way you picked up some great supplies!! Your group sounds really good by the way! I am working towards Tuesday too! With much love

  15. Happy birthday Annabel!
    What a beautiful dining set, I love how chunky the table legs are. Chloe is so thoughtful to print out your blog posts, what a lovely keepsake for your family. I am not on facebook, so will just join in on the Tuesday Afternoon Club here on the blog. I've started a crochet blanket (wrong time of year to do so really lol), so it might be a while before I have anything to contribute!

    We spent a week away on holiday and it was fantastic. Our kids loved it, and it has made us determined to set up a savings account for this purpose so we can do it more regularly. It was just the right amount of time away and a nice mix of relaxing and doing activities.

    We got home Thursday night and I baked a birthday cake for my son's birthday on Friday. Our neighbours who had been feeding our chickens also left a brand new bottle of milk in the fridge for us, which was hugely appreciated. I ended up making pancakes for dinner that night so that we didn't have to go to the shop. The kids thought it was fantastic!

    I got a bag of lemons from the friends we stayed with for three nights they are huge. So I will be putting them to use today.

    I've enjoyed catching up on your posts to set the scene for the year. I think for myself the biggest thing I want to achieve is a better sense of organisation. So it's back to basics in terms of meal planning, using things up, getting rid of things we no longer use, and a cleaning schedule. There are also some projects that have been on the 'to do' list for ages that realistically will never be done because I am no longer interested in them. So I need to donate the materials for those so they are no longer hanging over me either. Lots to work on!

    Have a lovely weekend everyone
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, I am glad you had such a nice time away and the kids thrived on it!
      I think holidays are wonderful for kids and are full of new experiences.
      I am glad you liked the 2019 posts. I love doing a kind of stocktake and deciding the direction we need to go. It sounds like you know what needs doing and have a plan. I hope you have a very good new year. Enjoy the school holidays... I remember it would be first day back at school that I would spend all day cleaning and getting back on track! We did a lot of cooking together the last days of the holidays so they had nice things to take on the first days. The girls loved that! (and learned a fair bit of cooking)
      Have a good weekend! With love

  16. Happy birthday Annabel!

    I think I have just lost a long comment :(

    Anyway, we are back from our holiday which was fantastic! We had such a good time, and are going to set up a holiday savings account so we can do it more regularly.

    I want to be more organised this year, so am going back to basics in terms of meal planning, a cleaning schedule, using things up, and getting rid of things we no longer use. Included in that will be some projects that I have lost interest in and are just taking up physical and mental space.

    I had written more, but those were the main points!

    Have a lovely weekend
    Jen in NZ

  17. Hi Annabel,

    What a treat to see your beautiful plants growing as we have winter in my part of the world! Your chickens look well pleased with their greens. The homemade pizza looks like one from the fancy pizza place in my town - yum! Your new table and chairs are gorgeous - that was a great find!

    Food: I did a big cookup on Sunday (pork roast, wild rice mix, chicken and veggies stirfry, beef stew). All work lunches and snacks were brought from home. Now is the time to start using some of my older canned goods (still well in date), so I tried a new-to-me recipe for peach pie with canned peaches. It is very tasty! I have some apples to use up this week - fresh ones - so the current debate is fresh applesauce vs. apple crumble!

    Home: I deep-cleaned the bathrooms and my husband did the carpets - so nice to have this done! I also organized my closet and added some items to the pile for the thrift shop.

    Garden: While it is too cold to do any real gardening right now, I had to mention that my 2nd lavender bush is thriving and surviving! This is very exciting to me! It is a big spot of happy green in my dormant backyard.

    Entertainment: We both checked books and a dvd out of the library, and have enjoyed spending time in our cozy house.

    Shopping finds: I purchased a bunch of nice body lotions and creams at 75% off; these will last me the year with some left for gifts, too. My favorite thrift shop had a lot of lovely embroidery flosses (an astonishing amount of DMC, and some silks!) and tools; the sweet gal who was working there saw that I had found one bag and brought two others over to me, saying that she had just put them out that day. I spent $23 on three bags full and had added it up to hundreds of dollars in retail cost. (I should take a picture - it is an amazingly lovely bundle of supplies and I am so thankful to have found it.)

    Crafts & Gifts:
    My husband received a hand-knitted cable hat; he is wearing at the barn after our rides and seems pleased with it.

    I started a wool sweater on New Year's Day, and have been knitting away at the body of it when I get a moment.

    Some of my cross-stitching scrap fabric and leftover threads have been going into small ornaments for this year's tree.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, Oh that op shop find!! I imagine it would be worth hundreds. Wow that was wonderful! You are set! You had both hard work and good luck to make a really good week! The canned peaches are great. I have a cobbler recipe for them if you need it let me know.
      Have a really good new week! With much love,

  18. Dear Annabel,

    I'm so glad you had such a good birthday week! The pizza and lemon butter look delicious. That book with a year of your blog is such a wonderful, thoughtful gift.

    I just got my purchases put away from a trip to the grocery store and CVS. I went to CVS to get some coupons to use next week to get some haircare items for free. They had 75% off most of the Christmas, but I only picked up a little shrinking art kit to put aside for the youngest granddaughter. Good prices at the grocery included $.97 # for our favorite apples, $.99 # for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $2.47 # for extra lean ground beef, $4.77 for 2# shredded cheese, $.99 for jars of peanut butter, $.25 per package of macaroni and cheese, along with $2 off bakery, $3 off produce and $5 off $50 purchase.

    We're eating sweet potatoes, lettuce, green onions, mint, tangeloes and a few tiny tomatoes from the garden. We've also enjoyed a couple small bouquets of mixed flowers--not enough of any one, but combined they look nice.

    Wishing you and the other Bluebirds a lovely weekend!

    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, How fantastic you can get free haircare items. All your prices sound so good to me. It is so great to get ahead when there are bargains around.
      It sounds like your garden is producing really well. I am loving my garden and being able to pop outside and pick things for a meal! I am convinced gardening is beneficial in so many ways.
      Have a beautiful weekend to you too, With love

  19. Happy Birthday, dear Annabel! You do have the most amazing success finding great things along the roadside ;). Love your new jar stash from your Mum - you're gonna have some fun decorating those! That is a fabulous teak dining table and chairs for you deck! I realized I have done a little creating for the home: I made liquid laundry soap - concentrated 5 gals that will be diluted 1:1 with water for 10 gals! We're set, ha !ha! It smells good, too (made from Zote flakes). I have 3 batches of bar soap cured in Patchouli scent, Plumeria scent and Green Tea and Lavender. I also made some "Korean Citron Tea" for lovely warm drinks for our Winter season. It's citrus and honey in jars. I've been reading over at the Tuesday Club and am amazed with all the creativity and industriousness going on. I've got to "up my game"! ;). Have a blessed weekend and week to come ~Mary in San Diego.

    1. Dear Mary, The laundry liquid sounds so good. We do not get Zote here but I saw it comes in pink! So Vicky mailed me some and I grated it for pink laundry power. I love it!
      Well done on the bar soaps also! You are doing great! Thank you for doing the group! I am fascinated with the Korean Citron Tea. If you can take some photos and post over at the group. I love honey and we have farm honey so I always have a supply. Thanks Mary so much! With love

  20. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds
    Wonderful to catch up with you all and hear how your week has gone.

    Annabel I just love that outdoors setting - I know there are gas outdoor heaters that could possibly be used along with some roller blinds (clear ones) that will cut a lot of the cold and make that space a bit more winter friendly.

    How wonderful that Chloe printed off last years blue birds are nesting for you. Always pays to have a hard copy because you just never know what may happen.

    This week has been an interesting week for me more than my husband - we were expecting our cook top to be delivered on Tuesday but on having no notification through as to time of delivery (ordered and paid for boxing day) I did an on line chat and learnt that the cook top was not going to be in until around the 21st of January. I printed off my order and receipt and headed out to my chiropractor's appointment then to see a now doctor about my medical problem.

    Second shock of the day was when I was asked to pay $165- after seeing the doctor - he is not a recognised specialist and seeing as it was a visit to see if I felt comfortable with him (my doctor left the practice I use to go to unexpectedly) I didn't think that it was right that I should have to pay such a huge amount.

    I felt so ill, especially as he said that the next and subsequent visits would be $90-.

    When I had gathered myself together while sitting in the car I left and headed for the place where I picked up my oven really cheap - I asked them about the cook top and while the salesperson couldn't personally the store manager could so I got the cook the same price. In total between the two items I have saved over $1600-. I cancelled the other order and my money was back in the account in a couple of days (I watched it to make sure).

    Yesterday my husband finally managed to speak to our builder who is going to do the extension - the laws have been changed and we can cut costs by sourcing materials ourselves and doing demolition work as well as getting our own tradies in so a lot like an owner builder project. We will be starting in a couple of months time which works for me because it will be so much easier to stock the freezer with winter type foods than work around summer foods.

    I am so happy with this because it means that I can source the doors and windows that we still need at a much cheaper price than they would normally be.

    Yesterday we did some meat shopping and fruit and vegetables as well. Picked up two half hams for cold meat as we are heading into continuous 30+ weather for the coming week.

    My husband goes back to work Monday and of course the holiday traffic and back to work traffic will be mixing so no idea when he will be getting home.

    I have my dehydrator on dehydrating the leaves and scrappy bits of celery so that I can powder them up and use them as flavouring in soups and stews.

    My plan for today is to put the books back in the glass fronted book case that my husband took out last Saturday and remove my craft stuff that he put in there and pop it back into the bookcases.

    Of course the books are sets and all out of order so it will take quite a bit of time to get it done.

    Have a great weekend everyone


    1. Dear Lynette, The doctors fe was a shock but you more than made it up with the great savings on the oven! I know too you will save a lot with being able to shop around for windows and doors etc as you have used salvaged items before with huge savings. You are good at research and hunting down bargain so this will be a great help.
      We have been doing the hams also for hot days. I baked one a couple of nights ago for the hot days and it is so good. I just do so many meat and salad type dinners. Its like a holiday and the oven stays off.
      I am planning to dehydrate loads of the pears and apples. I am wondering how hick to cut them that is my main issue.
      I hope you are having a lovely Sunday and off to a good start for a new week! With much love,

    2. Dear Annabel
      I joined a FB page - dehydrating divas and dudes and have learnt so much. There are a lot of Australians on the page so lots of information from both really experienced and not so experienced users of dehydrators.

      I have read so much and any time something popped up that I knew I would possibly use I read the information a couple of times.

      The first thing I tried was strawberries, used a plastic egg slicer to cut them but it wasn't strong enough so I resorted to using a knife. The second thing I did was some mushrooms that were not going to get used. Both are in jars in their slices.

      The celery bits worked out great, I have powdered them and they are a wonderful green colour - now I can tackle the Moringa tree.

      Sometimes builders are locked into using particular suppliers - this can mean that prices can be more than double what others will charge. Storage will be out problem so I am researching and waiting until we have a start date.

      Hope you have had a wonderful Sunday - empty house tomorrow so I will get stuck into some cleaning.


  21. With working full time I have limited time to do the Tuesday Afternoon Club, but I have hopes for later this winter.
    I do cook our evening meal most nights from scratch.
    Influenza is ramped in our area and we are being very diligent in washing our hands, inhaling "Thieves" EO and drinking 2-4 oz of Kombucha twice a day (to ensure our probiotic levels are up.) We also had chiropractic adjustments this week. All to keep our health at it's best. Our youngest son and family are moving to our hometown in 2 weeks and we are to keep the babies for a few days while they get everything moved and settled. We can't get sick! So far, so good.

    1. Dear Kay, How nice to have your son and family moving close by! We are in summer here. If there is a bad flu overseas then that tends to flow to here come Autumn. Hand washing is number one for sure. I also will have Plague defence or On Guard in the diffuser... I make it up into roller balls to take with me everywhere and little spray bottles too. The flu worries me now since I ended up in hospital one year and two years ago my baby Granddaughter got it badly and just screamed and screamed and it was just shocking. Not the though upsets me. So we will be doing all we can. I do hope you avoid it, you are doing the right things! With love

  22. I have had a lovely week with plenty of family visits mixed in with good hard work. This week I spent Sunday afternoon making up breakfasts foods for the freezer. I didn't get as far as I'd expected to but I shall have this coming Sunday too to work on this further. My husband works 24 hour shifts and when he comes in after being up all night long he's starving and wants a substantial breakfast. Gracious I want to give him one but it takes up such a load of time to do the cooking and clearing up after. Having a few things made up, ready to thaw and reheat makes a huge difference in my time investment but does not decrease his pleasure in having his big breakfast. The rest of my week was mostly involved in continuing to clean the kitchen deeply and to declutter and better organize spaces. This evening I made a lovely pizza dough which my grandson Josh helped me prepare for supper. He's a very picky eater but it helps to have him help prepare and have a hand in making a meal I've found. He ate very well for supper.

    1. Dear Terri, Wow 24 hour shifts! I dont know how he does it. I can see he would love his big breakfast!
      It is a good tactic having the Grandson help with the meal. I am glad he ate so well!
      I will reply here also to your comment on the challenge... I knew you would like it since you always set things to use and make things, decorate etc. I have been thinking of many things in a slightly different way and getting more milage and uses from things and less waste overall. So it is helping me and I do well with a challenge!
      Have a lovely weekend Terri! With love

  23. Annabel,
    You are getting things set up looking so lovely! I absolutely love the table and chairs, I have that exact same runner on my dining room table haha great minds think alike! And what a wonderful gift to have your blog printed Happy Birthday sweetheart!
    It was a rough year, but I am happy to report that our savings was still over $40 thousand for 2018. Keeping labor costs down has been a big help. This year I am praying we don't have to pay out a bunch in medical costs. I am hoping to beat that amount this year. The little things really do add up over a year's time.
    We finally got a little snow it is so pretty, but I'm glad it hasn't been much this winter. We have been saving on the electric by using one of those counter top toaster ovens for many things, but.... sigh... I burn everything when I use it. Everybody turns their nose up at those black, crunchy delights I offer asking what it was supposed to be. I told mum it's her fault because she never bought me an Easy Bake Oven as a child. Lol.
    I am making over some large tins and donated lots of things over the last few weeks as I go throughout my day to declutter.
    I made a batch of orange vinegar from orange peels.
    I got a magazine in the mail that had a lot of the rub on perfume samples in it so I tore them out and put them in different drawers as sachets. Only the ones that I liked though.
    I mended one of Rick's shirts and cut his hair.
    Since it's cold lots of soup has been on the menu and I make enough to last a few days.
    I got free samples in the mail and we are burning wood to heat the house. It stays nice and toasty.
    I made bone broth and added it to the cellar and did limited grocery shopping just to get milk and veggies.
    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. This is interesting, Vicky. I have been thinking about doing the same thing: getting a counter-top toaster oven to save on the regular oven use, but I may be doomed to your fate; my Mom never got me an Easy-Bake oven, either! Ha! Ha!

      xx JEn in NS

    2. Dear Vicky,
      Soup sounds just right in your weather. The snow would be so pretty but I cant even imagine how cold it gets. Your fire would be so nice though.
      I hope you dont have medical costs this year. That would help a lot.
      You did very well saving $40,000 compared to having to pay for that work and pay that out. Imagine that.
      The runner on the table was left over from Chloe and Lukes wedding! I just set it to good use!
      I truly hope this year will be much better for you! With love

    3. Jen in NS,
      The toaster oven is a really big help I am big on multitasking and I don't think I pay enough attention. I have come to enjoy a burnt muffin with my coffee haha!!! It does save us though unless I'm doing alot of baking at once.

    4. Dear Vicky,
      Having used a toaster oven for a long time one of the things I found was that it will cook everything much faster
      than my regular oven did, especially if I'm baking. What has worked really well in mine is to shorten the baking time or lowed the temperature a few degrees. Hope this helps. Cookid

  24. Happy birthday dear Annabel, glad you had a lovely week. Love the book that Chloe gave you, what a great keepsake. Loving the posts in The Tuesday afternoon club, I check it out every day to see what wonderful things the ladies are up to. Have a lovely weekend. Love Jo Roberts

    1. Dear Jo, Thanks so much! I am working away so I have things to report on Tuesday plus there will be a report here for the non fb group. For some of us this will mean a double dose but all the ideas are entirely different!! So far I have a lot to post here on Tuesday as well! Everyone is up and running and it is wonderful! Thank you for your support! With love

  25. Dear Annabel
    Happy Birthday. Such a thoughtful gift from your daughter, truely a gift of love.
    I’ve been very lucky this week, my eldest daughter gave me a bag of apricots which I stewed and my youngest a container of raspberries which I froze.
    Our new garden is starting to produce berries but just enough for a taste with cereal or as a garnish on dessert, next year will be better.
    This week my husband replaced the shelves in the wardrobes, for some reason they had been removed by the previous owners. He has also built a shelf above the door in the toilet to stack toilet paper on, this is a smaller house than we had previously and we are having to be a bit inventive when it comes to storage. It is very easy to keep clean though and with the double glazed windows we’ve had fitted and solar panels, very economical to run.
    I’ve been eating from the pantry and freezer and searching my recipe books so we have something a bit different, I felt I was in a bit of a rut with my menu plan.
    I’m really enjoying your stories of the farm, it is a wonderful way of life, our farming days are over, but we are still able to have chickens, bees and a vegetable garden whilst living in a small country town.
    Best Wishes

  26. Dear Annabel,

    Happy Birthday! I love your outdoor table set. It's funny you mentioned finding the vacuum...I am currently looking to replace ours after 20 years, and am having to do a lot of research, as I have no idea anymore about which vacuums are any good, etc. It would be lovely to find a good one at the side of the road!!! :)

    We've cleaned all up from Christmas, though things aren't exactly "back to normal", as hubby is still on holidays until Tuesday. I have gotten a few things finished to show for Tuesday, I'll be sending a photo or two. It's felt lovely to get a few things accomplished right off the bat! It's also perfect timing as it is cold here and definitely not gardening season, so I can sit and knit or sew with peace of mind! :) But your photos of fresh basil and sunflowers are a nice burst of remembered color and scent and flavor of summer!

    I have a big list of little and not-so-little jobs I'd like to get done on the house and yard this year, and I am going to be plunking away at them each week. Some are very small, so I will be able to get something done, even on weeks when I don't have time to tackle big painting jobs, etc. Thanks for the gentle push to make a list of goals!!! I consider this part of the "use it up" and "wise investments" categories, for sure!! :)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, I know you are so busy in gardening season. So this is good! I will look forward to seeing what you have made. You always make amazing things!
      When I was painting I would make my goal to paint a door or paint a wall... not paint the whole room. I got things done in this way, breaking it down to manageable lots. I was amazed then as I would often do more once I got going!
      We are off to a good start for the year!! I hope to keep my momentum going... with love

  27. Annabel, happy belated birthday. I am a tad late. I am wondering where your blog was printed out as I know it could be done in the US years ago but not in Australia. What a lovely gift to receive. I would like to get the stories for my grandchildren on my blog post printed out one of these days.


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.