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 28 March 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 29th March, 2019.

Can you believe March is almost over!?  I feel like I was just planning my year and here we are three months in.

It has been a really good week!  So much going on...

These are some of the ways I feathered my nest, built up our home, saved, got ahead, added to my pantry...

First of all you have to put up with a story.   My Dad pops in pretty regularly for a cup of tea and a chat.  And to see what I am up to around here.  Every time he comes he asks me in a slightly exasperated way WHY don't I have a kitchen table?  Our dining room table is in the lounge room which is big, like one end is living, one end is dining.  The other table we have is out on the deck which is where we mostly eat.   That is all the tables I have!   But I kind of agreed with him.  Ours is an old fashioned kitchen and I kept it as it was, original cupboards, sink and stove, even floor.  And a table would fit.  Well, a small table.  So Dad would drag a chair out of the lounge room to the kitchen and sit there saying it is much better to sit in the kitchen.  And he is right, I am always cooking or usually when he is here.   My Nan had a big old farmhouse table in her kitchen. I loved it.  It is true that the kitchen is the heart of the home.
So finally I took the hint and thought to please Dad I will find myself a little kitchen table.  It would have to be fairly small, narrow and long as that is the shape of the room and the space I have.
Then I remembered seeing a small table up in the top shed.  Right at the back amongst junk and spider webs.   So I planned to go investigate.  I went armed with fly spray.
Amazingly I decided the table was about the right size, it was sure rustic and farmhouse style but it was covered in thick cobwebs and you had to climb over all kinds of stuff to get to it.  So I would need Andy to help.  I sprayed a ton of flyspray to kill black spiders and let that do it's work!
Later we went up with the trailer and hauled it out.  I wore thick leather gloves and boots.  We lifted it up and started shifting it toward the door and something moved next to my left hand.  I screamed and dropped the whole thing!  It was just a spider web moving in the breeze lol 🙄
I truly nearly had a heart attack.  Anyway this all continued until we had it on the trailer then unloaded it out on the front lawn.  Then I was able to use a broom to clear twenty years of dust and then the hose until finally I scrubbed it down with Ajax and steel wool.
Now it is very rustic.  Too rustic for some probably but I love it!
Finally it was dry on Monday morning and Andy helped me bring it into the kitchen.   I found two chairs and popped a tray and a jug on it and it looked like it belonged.  
Two hours later who should turn up?  Dad!  He walked to the kitchen door and stopped in his tracks!  I said "Ta dahhh!" throwing my hands in the hair!   And he beamed and said "That's MUCH BETTER" and pulled out a chair and sat down.  So out came his own special cup and saucer and he had two cups of coffee.   So now he is happy!  
Vicky and I joked and said it was all done for our favourite piece.  (That would be zero dollars and zero cents!)

I made three reversible shopping bags from lovely fabric a Bluebirds sent me in our swap party.  I have been running out of bags on my trips to town.  I made the pattern up and was really pleased!

You can see the table and chairs here but I will take more photos when I am happy with how I have it set! 

I finished off my pin cushions.  I found bow and button pins to add to them. Underneath they each have a button and on top they each have a crystal or a flower. 

We used our apples, pears and figs in our meals.  I wrap figs in prosciutto and fill them with cream cheese and bake them.   We had pear, walnut and rocket salad,  baked apples with pork and apple pies.

I found a big bag of bananas marked down so I used them to make the cakes to take this week to see the girls.   That is today after I post! Mum is coming over and we head of at nine am! 

I made two dozen regular banana cakes and two dozen GF ones.

As I am trying to use apples up I made a heap of individual apple pies in my pie maker.  This lot are to take to Lucy today.

My tray is a lined lid of a big shoe box.  Well it works!

I added to the pantry with coffee at an amazing price.

My chickens are laying better and better.  I am getting four eggs a day so I have some slackers but I think they will all be laying soon!

Just as I thought I was getting ahead with apples we got MORE apples.  Dad said to go look at the old apple tree and pick the rest.  So we made a trip out of it and headed off down a track we had not explored yet.  It was just beautiful and a short cut to the beach!  This was back to the apple tree over the old stone house.  The apples that were left were way up high!

I had my long picking stick Andy made me. It has a long handle, a hook and a tin for the fruit to drop in to.  So we still got four baskets full.

The apples are a bit scruffy on the outside but good on the inside.  I put an egg in the basket to show how big they are!  

While poking around at the old cottage we found a big old cast iron box.  I think it had once contained machinery.   Anyway we needed a wood box at the back door.  We both looked at it and said "wood box!"   It is amazing!   

In the afternoon we went wood cutting and filled a trailer and our new woodbox at the back door.  This is really good timing as it could be only weeks before we need to start having a fire.

Early in the week we had some rain. It looks like we are set for some more which would be wonderful!

I planted cauliflowers and cabbages and some flowers.

So it was a great week.  Lots of progress here and there.  And that is how it adds up.  Week by week we can make so much difference and achieve all kinds of goals.  
Watching well to the ways of your household and being busy are important things!  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. A very busy week! That table is a great find - I am on the lookout for farmhouse/country style kitchen fittings, and keep looking at all the hard rubbish piles to see what I can find :) Your day with your Mum and the girls sounds beautiful, and I'm sure those muffins will be happily received :) This week I was able to get legs of lamb for $7.99/kg - so you can believe I bought up! And then I was at IGA for the half price chocolate (less than 1c/g - best price ever!) and found corned beef marked down to $4.99 & $5.99 for the whole pieces - so I bought those and shifted $19.45 into the slush fund. Then at the butcher I found Bertocchi leg hams marked down to $4.99/kg - less than half price! I bought two. One is in the fridge for our Easter ham and the other has been sliced, portioned and frozen for winter meals. We worked in the garden over the weekend, and now I have two spots that need something. I'm thinking herbs - parsley, mint, chives because they are quite dry spots with filtered light. I also finished off some Mother's Day cards for a friend's school. Made three dozen scrolls (cinnamon maple, pizza and cheese) and these will be our weekend snacks and lunches. Stitched buttons on two pair of shorts for Tom. Enjoyed a nice visit from Wendy over a cup of tea. And we're waiting for rain - it keeps going around us! Saturday is going to be cold so I'm grateful we thought ahead and prepared the kindling box and made sure the wood pile is ready to go. Wayne cleaned the chimney a couple of weeks ago so we can light the fire tonight when it gets cold! I've even prepared the clotheshorse to go next to it for the washing on Sunday. Have a lovely weekend, Cath xxx

    1. Dear Cath, I hope you do get some rain. We had some last night and it has added to what we got earlier in the week... it just needs to keep coming.
      You had amazing meat deals. The ham prices! The cornered beef prices! And I love to have lamb roasts ready to go. Your baking sounds beautiful. I love farmhouse things like old kitchen ware and now I am in my element having an actual farmhouse!! We are gradually noseying (if thats a word?) around all the old sheds and shearing sheds etc on the property and neighbouring ones. So this is how we came to have our wood box. Don't worry I have looking in the dumps too! But this is really fun!
      Yesterday Mum was here and she also loved the table! I have my first fire set ready to start and dont think it will be far away. So lovely! Have a beautiful weekend! With love

  2. Sounds like a great week. The table and chairs are just perfect.
    I just love the bags and pin cushions - too pretty.
    That is the most perfect wood box.
    Have a blessed weekend!

    1. Thanks Cheryl, I noticed on your blog you love country and old cookbooks and implements. Along with the table and chairs I am trying to add lots of old time kitchen stuff. I love it! It feels so homey.
      Thank you so much! With love

  3. Dear Annabel,

    What a wonderful busy week you had!

    I love the little table and the story attached. Sorry, but I laughed when I pictured you armed with fly spray and safely gear. I can imagine all the dirt and spiders and webs! Ewww! I would have dropped the table at the first sight of movement too lol! I agree with your dad that every farm kitchen needs a table to sit down and chat with a perfect cuppa and cake.

    Those apples are humongous! Do you know what sort they are? Our apples didn't even get a chance this year, they all fried and fell off before even forming properly. Can you please share a pic of Andy's fruit picker? Phil made one but it is not that successful.

    I love your wood box and just showed Phil and he said I have two of those and promptly went and showed me. They are exactly the same as yours. I didn't realise it was so big and makes a great wood storage box. Ours have old Zephyr car parts in...of course lol!

    Your baking looks delightful, and I bet your kitchen smelled amazing.

    Our chooks have slowed down and gone into moult. Over winter they don't lay many eggs.

    No rain here as yet, but I have given up hope :)

    Have a blessed weekend,

    Love Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, Don't give up hope! We have been luckier with some rain and a few days of light drizzle and mist which is still something. We need follow up though! I dont know the apple type. Dad and I were speculating the age of the tree. Most of the house there has fallen down and yet the tree remains. We imagined the lady of the house probably planted that tree plus the Mulberry which is also so old! The apples cook so they fluff up and fall apart if that is any clue and stay green too.
      Our wood box is from Olympic mine Pt Augusta! it is a good size! I thought it very useful! I am not sure if my chooks will moult now too as they are only "teenagers" I will soon see I guess! I hope you have a great new week! with love

  4. Hi Annabel. Loved seeing the photo of your kitchen with the "new" table. I have just finished reading your blog from beginning to end and saw all the photos from the farmhouse while you were doing it up but I would love to see what the rooms are like now they are furnished and decorated. Hope that is ok to ask? This week I have cooked dinners and lunches, got lemons soaking in vinegar as my miracle cleaner is getting low, did baking and learned a new crochet stitch (bobble) as I am going to make a bath mat for our bathroom. Despite some vertigo on most days I have been able to be reasonably productive. Just want to say again, I love your blog!!

    1. Dear Magda, Thank you so much for you kindness! I am finally now getting around to more photos of inside the house. I started so much work outside as when we moved getting ready for fire season and getting the garden seemed to be most urgent. But now inside is taking shape so I will post more photos. I love the bobble pattern on dish cloths! I learned it now I forgot it and need a refresher! I love it though! A bath mat is a really good idea! I hope your new week is off to a wonderful start, with love

  5. Och, I love your kitchen, table, chairs and bags!! Wouldn't it be something if that table used to be in that kitchen years ago?! I so wish our kitchen was big enough for a table. But, just on the other side of the counter (bench, you'd say) is a room that our table fits in. Now your kitchen is "Dad Approved" ;)
    Your chickens are so pretty!! And those apples are huge!! How wonderful to have apple pies...from wild-grown fruit, no less.
    I love your cast iron wood box and all that lovely firewood!!
    I've been doing some sewing - I'll post on our TAC on FB come Tuesday. Working on a shawl now for the "gift cabinet", unless somebody comes along that needs a shawl ;). Also, trying knitting "toe-up" socks for the first time. I've always done them "top down" before. Time to learn a new skill ;p
    Can't wait to read what others post-

    1. Dear Mary, Thank you so much! I really think this might have been the original kitchen table too! it is just the right size and the only piece of furniture up in the shed!
      I cant wait to see what you have been sewing! And it is Monday evening here so I dont have long to wait! It is wonderful to have things for the gift cabinet. Even HAVING a gift cabinet is wonderful!
      I hope your socks go well. I have not attempted socks but maybe one day!
      I hope your new week is off to a good start! With much love

  6. I absolutely love the story of the kitchen table! I love the fact that your dad is able to enjoy visiting you and that he has such a great part of your lives together. It must be so good for all of you. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Earthmotherwithin! Today Dad was back sitting at "his" table having a gigantic cup of coffee and laminations! It was lovely! xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,
    I am always amazed at the perfect 'finds' for your lovely home. You are the busiest person I know.
    It is such a blessing to have your Dad pop in to see you. My Dad used to do that when our children were very young, but he died when I was 29; 41 years ago. Family close by is so important.
    Your baked goods and savings are impressive. I hope to get back to baking soon, as my hip is doing better from the fall.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you! I am so sorry you lost your Dad at such a young age. I am very grateful to be so close now to the family.
      I am glad your hip is improving. Be careful for sure. Have a lovely new week! With much love,

  8. Dear Annabel, what a fabulous post. Thank you for sharing your week. I love how your Dad pops over. I think he was very wise to suggest the table in the kitchen. I remember my great grandmother's house and she always had a table in the kitchen. I loved it. I love your table. You make everything look beautiful, Annabel. I love sitting near people when they are cooking too. Plus you can taste test first! Not to mention the conversations...we can't fit a table, but I always have a high chair in it and a big stool by the bench. I am hoping in the future we can have a couple of wooden stools next to the bench. I love how you are making use of that produce. I am impressed with all that baking, those apple pies and that said sounds fabulous. Your chickens look so happy. I bet you have a lovely day with the girls. They would be so excited. So cute! I got a bit of cooking done this week- zucchini slice, chocolate muffins and scones. You would never know though. I think I'm going to have to really triple my recipes to start getting ahead lol. I hope I can make some zucchini soup on the weekend in the slow cooker. It will hopefully be good to freeze. Lots of love, Bridget

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you so much! With your growing boys you will be soon cooking triple batches of everything! Zucchini soup will be really good as is zucchini slice. The soup will freeze well I found the thing is when you thaw it do it on the stove top and re blitz it if you have a stick blender. Then you would never know it was frozen. I like to do scones or cheese toasties to go with soup or a desert like the golden syrup one or something. This makes a soup meal more filing. My plan is to make up some chicken soup this week in my big stock pot. I love soup weather!
      Thank you re the table. People do naturally want to hang around the cooking and good smells in the kitchen!
      I hope you have a wonderful new week! With much love

  9. Your Dad was right, the kitchen table is perfect. Great story for you to tell your granddaughters. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Dear Making cents of it all, Thank you! You have a great new week too! Love

  10. Hi Annabel,
    I loved hearing the story about your Dad and your newly unearthed kitchen table! Wouldn't it be funny if that table was originally in your kitchen many years ago?! It looks like it fits beautifully.
    And I'm so happy to see you were able to find a use for the fabrics! The swap was great fun. Your shopping bags look so great!
    Have a lovely day visiting the girls with your Mum. Cheers, Kelly

    1. Dear Kelly, I really suspect the table was from the kitchen. I was hand built and the right dimensions... so it must have been sent out to the shed years ago. Now its back in!
      I am bringing back a new swap! I loved these fabrics and used every scrap! Now Mum is dropping hints for some bags the same!
      Thanks so much! With love

  11. Annabel, I love your table and wood box! Sounds like you found a treasure trove. Everything looks so wonderful - such a productive week again!

    1. Thank you Shirley! It was really good! I love finding treasures too! I hope you have a great new week. The weekend is almost over already! With much love

  12. What a wonderful week you’ve had! I’ve been away from home most of the week staying with our daughter and her 3 littles at their new home on 13 acres. They flew in from CA and so there was no car until our son in law drove one of their cars cross country for them and then flew back to CA to stay and work until their house sells. They are still working on getting internet service out there!
    So I stocked in some groceries (on sale of course) for them to have for the first week after they arrived. At my favorite produce market, I got Honeycrisp apples for $20/bushel ! I bought 2 bushels since in the stores right now they are $2.49/pound and these cases worked out to around 50 cents/pound. We kept some and then this daughter and 3 of our other daughters shared this deal!
    They also GAVE me a box of corn (I counted about 3+ dozen ears “for my chickens” . The husks looked sad, but before giving them to my crooks, I opened an ear, only to discover a beautiful ear of corn ! The rest have been the same- ugly husks, but beautiful ears inside! Suffice it to say, WE are now the “chickens” who are enjoying some of it fresh and then blanching and freezing the rest! What a treat!!
    I got some more chicken on sale so I let my crockpot do the work of cooking it up, then my mixer shredded it and I used some to make an Apple (remember my bargain ones?)Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad for sandwiches. The rest got parceled up into bags and frozen for other meals!
    I got milk for $1.19/gallon so I will make some yogurt in my Instant Pot tomorrow.
    I was given a #10 can of sausage TVP, so I will open the can and rehydrate a bit and if the taste is acceptable, I’ll use it in our breakfast burritos that I make in bulk using scrambled eggs from our chickens. If not, no great loss because it was given to us so I haven’t lost money on it!
    While I was at my daughter’s without internet an order came in to our online store on Monday that I just discovered today, so I wrote a quick apology note and got it shipped out today and it will arrive tomorrow. The customer was gracious and that reminded me how many pleasant people there really are out there!
    I renewed my items on FB Marketplace and within 10 minutes an order came in for 2 more sets of Soup Cozies. Got that packaged and posted and she will get it in tomorrow’s post. So I’m thinking tomorrow will be spent making more inventory! Not that I’m complaining!
    Dave’s retirement is in just 2 months so we are squirreling away as much money, food and other pantry staples on sale as we can because there will be a lag time of up to 6 weeks before we get a paycheck! I sold something on EBay yesterday so that brought in $50 that will go directly into savings!
    I’m nervous but not in a panic, just trying to do everything I can to be prepared! That’s my feathering for the week!

    1. Dear Pat, As soon as you said "for the chickens" I knew what was going to happen! That is awesome they are so nice! I hope your daughter and SILs house sells quickly for them!
      Your store has done so well. It is wonderful. I liked the bowl covers and feel they would be a success too!
      I think you are well prepared for the retirement with your alternative income sources, garden, chickens and pantry. It will just be an adjustment. Dave's wood work I think will do well I am guessing he will now have more time for that. So I think you will go well!
      I love hearing your week Pat, thank you! With love

  13. Dear Annabel,
    Wow! Those apples are huge! I know you'll make something yummy with them and perhaps enjoy them out of hand, as well. Such a cute story about your dad and the table. I would have been afraid of the spiders, too.

    I've stayed out of the stores except for a trip to pick up some prescriptions. I got some buns and a loaf of bread from the reduced bakery rack while there. The biggest savings came from the prescriptions, though. The grocery where we frequently shop recently started a prescription savings plan. We saved $42 on this purchase compared to using our insurance, which more than covers a year of the cost of the plan. Plus, it gave us gas points for about 40 cents off per gallon.

    Wishing you and the other Bluebirds a lovely weekend!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      The savings plan sounds very good. I hear horror stories of prescription costs. So I am glad this works out so well for you. Have a wonderful new week! With much love,

  14. What a lovely story about your Dad and the table. We also have a shed which has some useful stuff and an abundance of spiders- they're not as scary as Australian spiders but I am very careful in there - we have one small spider here that bites and some people ( me!) have a nasty reaction to it - other people are fine.
    Sharing tea/ coffee at the kitchen table is one of life's free little pleasures.

    1. Dear Penny, When I had spider bites that made me so sick I found out they commonly get infected as spiders many times eat other spiders. eek!
      Thank you re the table! I would love to nosy in your shed... I love old stuff! xxx

  15. I think the kitchen table looks like it was just made for that spot! And the price was more than perfect! Best part of the story...that your Dad comes to sit and chat awhile as you work.

    1. Thanks Judy. Yes it is lovely to have Dad call. Being close to Mum and Dad now is really good. I suspect the table had originally been in this kitchen and moved out years ago... now it is back! xxx

  16. Dear Annabel I so enjoyed reading your post , catching up with your doings and hearing how your dad pops in regularly for coffee, just lovely. My dad use to pop in , though not as often as he was working , but that is many years ago now. For some reason lately he's been on my mind and Ive been missing him, perhaps it's because IM now taking my inlaws out for their errands and appointments, DFil not driving any more.
    I had to laugh at you yelling thinking it was a spider , you are as brave as me haha or should I say braver for perservering to get that table out. The reward is seeing your father's face Im sure .
    All your baking always looks so yummy and so much made at a time !
    Have a lovely weekend Annabel and Bluebirds, love Maria xxx
    Ps MY week has been very social , catching up with friends and family in between minding grandchildren and helping inlaws.I cut hubbys hair , made dinner and afters for son in laws birthday and took to their house and the usual daily and weekly jobs etc that I do .

    1. Dear Maria, Thank you! You are wonderful for how you help your inlaws. Yes this probably does make you think of your Dad. I am lucky that Dad is working but I live in the middle of it. He doesnt believe in retirement or any of that. My proximity has made it really good this way.
      I was really determined on the table but terrified! lol I was so glad when that was over!
      You had a busy week all up! I hope the new week will be lovely! With much love,

  17. Hello Ladies! (waving)
    Annabel, Oh I did so love hearing your story about the kitchen table. In my "mind's eye" I could just see your Dad (yes imagination fills in all the wonderful details. :) entering the kitchen with a great big grin on his face! Facing that scary outbuilding was definitely worth it to see his joy!

    Those apples are absolutely huge! Probably takes only a few to make a pie.
    I haven't been very productive this week as my parents have come from Illinois for a visit. We're having a lovely time.
    I was able to do a little planting earlier this week. I put a plum tree in and replaced some raspberry plants and cleared out the raspberry bed. Now that spring has arrived, I really need to get moving on my yard work. I had the flu a few weeks ago and it really kicked me down for a good 10 days...just felt so tired. Thankful to be back to my old self now!
    Hope you all have a very blessed day!!

    1. Dear Kathryn, Thank you! You are right about the apples. One cut up fills a small pie!
      I am glad you are enjoying your tie with your parents.
      We are getting ready to put in fruit trees too. I think a plum tree is one I will include. We are waiting for the winter to put them in here. But getting the ground ready.
      I hope you recover well from the flu, I have heard a few people saying how badly it knocked them around. Have a great new week! With love,

  18. Annabel,
    I would be as you if I saw a spider, so happy to hear though that there were none to contend with.
    The table fits so well in the kitchen and the thought of your Dad enjoying a cup of coffee while you worked is so touching, the wonderful conversations you must have.

    The girls must have been so excited seeing you and your Mum come to visit with goodies. They will treasure those memories forever.

    I am amazed with the size of the apples, being a wild tree now, your Dad is truly imparting his knowledge of where to find free edibles around you.

    I have had a slow week with accomplishments. I was able to fit 3 medical appointments in and stopped at Dollar Tree Stores and a thrift store on my routes. I was blessed at all. It makes me wonder why others do not concern themselves with saving. Buying the same canned pie filling at one store saved me over $47 alone. I purchased 2 bags of pink salt for $1 each, the store right next door was selling it for $4.97 a bag. It made me feel good knowing I made wise decisions.

    At the thrift store I found a twin set of flannel sheets for $5, My plan is to make a nightgown with the flat sheet and cut the fitted and pillowcases into handkerchiefs. Saving me over purchasing new material at the fabric store.

    I didn't do much but I feel the savings I accomplished was well worth it and I was able to add to my pantries.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Love, Rosanne

    1. Dear Rosanne, I do love that Dad calls in and that I am nearby.
      The girls do get so excited when we arrive. Much jumping up and down! It is really sweet.
      I am taking notice of where every tree is and when they are usually ripe, in my note book. There are quite a few around. Mostly very old. It is really interesting what we can source though. So far Mulberries x 2, lemons, organise, Quinces, figs (two types x several) pears 2 types, apples 3 types, plums, then of course venison and now we are checking out things re fishing.
      I saw the flannel sheets! I loved them! Plaid /tartan sheets much harder to come by here. They would make the best hankies. I am on the look out!
      Well done on adding to your pantry! That dollar store you have sounds amazing. I have seen many good things from there!
      Have a wonderful new week! With much love,

  19. Annabel, I've noticed that if I'm patient and watchful, things that I want or need will be there. When something is needed I always say: "Something will present itself" and it usually does! Now I hear members of my family saying "something will present itself".

    I love, love, love reading about your new life in the country.


    1. Dear Phyllis, I think this too. I have a wait and see what turns up philosophy. And I put it out there too with friends and family if I am after something. Most of the time this works a treat! Thank you for your kind words! I am loving life here which you no doubt have noticed! It is kind of an adventure. Now as we get more time we are exploring more and this is really fun! This week we are going off to get loads of sheep manure for the garden. Don't worry I will be poking around the shearing sheds and old buildings, you just never know what I might find! have a lovely new week! With love

  20. Hi Annabel (and everyone),

    Annabel, I love your "new" table and chairs, and the shopping bags are beautiful! Also all of the baking looks so yummy. I continue to admire all of your wonderful fruit!

    It has been kind of an expensive month (new eyeglass/contacts prescriptions and some car maintenance showed something needed to be fixed, but it would have been far more costly to not do the maintenance and have the little thing turn into a big thing), but I try to remind myself that this is one of the reasons that it is so good to keep up with our efforts. It actually is a nice feeling to have the money available to pay those expenses when they occur.

    We have been super busy with work lately, so just trying to keep up with basic home things lately. Last weekend I did a big cooking session to have homemade dinners ready at the end of long workdays, and made a double batch of freezer oatmeal for breakfasts. My husband trimmed the trees in our yard and dug up the roots of my one very old rosebush that had rosette; and I weeded one raised bed, the herb bed, and the front landscaping. It is supposed to be cold this weekend, but we should be able to plant in another week or so. We also loaded up the car with our Goodwill donations and cleared out the garage so that it is nice and tidy. A quick stop by the thrift yielded another nice bag of wooden-backed stamps for cardmaking ($6) and a baking cookbook ($1.99). I also re-organized a couple of shelves in our linen closet, so it makes much more sense and is much easier to find the proper items.

    For crafts, I have just been knitting a little when I have time; I'm partway through the second sleeve on my sweater and about halfway done with a pretty knitted shawl.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, You are exactly right.... being a bit ahead is so good. Extra stuff ALWAYS comes up. Many times things you could even dream up or predict! The wooden backed stars are very expensive! That was a great find!
      Since you have been so busy at work you have done really well with all the extras you got done. Ready to go dinners are so good to have. I love the slow cooker at this time of year... I am getting back to roasts and casseroles, pies and so on. This week I feel like making pasties. It is ages since I did and they also freeze well.
      I would love to see your shawl and jumper when you finish! have a wonderful new week, With love

  21. Hi Annabel
    The story of your week made me smile! Your Dad must be so pleased to have all of the family back on the farm. I love that he pops in so regularly, and that he had somewhere nice to sit now!

    Lucy and Chloe must really appreciate all of the cooking and baking you do for them. I truly think giving food is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for other people.

    The bags and pincushions look great! And the cute pins really finish them off.

    I have had a week at home apart from drop offs and pick ups and it has been so good. I've cleared out and cleaned the pantry, linen cupboard, a room off the garage that had become the dumping ground, and a cupboard in the house that was previously a hazard to open because of things falling out lol. I took four boxes to the op shop, have another to give a friend, and feel much happier every time I see those spaces!

    I am cross stitching an animal alphabet for my daughter, hopefully to be ready for her birthday in May. I have made one for each of my boys, they are the only things I have had professionally framed. I have a couple of pictures my mum stitched me, and I treasure them. So I wanted to make one for each of my children to ensure they all have something special to them that will last. At the moment I am only on the fifth letter, so I need to pick up the pace a bit!

    We have a family of six staying for the weekend, some of our favourite people in the world ☺
    I've baked six dozen banana choc chip muffins and chocolate and raspberry brownie. My weekend will be spent feeding people!

    Hope you Pat had a lovely day trip. Enjoy your weekend!

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, You will be busy with your visitors... I hope you are having a great weekend! All the cooking you did will help!
      Well done on the clearing and cleaning. It feels good getting things like that done!
      I think cooking is such a good gift too. Mum used to send us home sometimes with a casserole or something for dinner. I night off cooking when the kids were little was lovely! Nana always said an ounce of help is worth more than a pound of sympathy! Practical help is so nice.
      Have a great new week! With much love

  22. Hi Annabel
    I Agree with your Dad, every kitchen should have a table to congregate around.
    Those big apples look very much like Bramley's, which are really good good for cooking with and make great pie filling.
    Your story about getting the table out of the shed made me laugh because if that had have been my husband getting attacked by the cobwebs, he'd have run a mile as he's petrified of anything spidery.


    1. Kim Andy is not worried by snakes, rats anything like tat but he also hates spiders!! So he was being really good with helping me with the table and probably just as horrified as me! The apples are very good cooked up. Not so good raw. My other apes the pic ones are good for eating so this is working out pretty well! I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With love

  23. Annabel I love your story and how your Dad just knew what your kitchen needed. He was right. The table you found looks perfect and has the tick of approval from your Dad. Love it.
    This week my son and his family arrived back from their adventures on Fraser Island. The little girls were well and truly over their holidays. They are ready to be home and back into a proper routine. Tilly requested cup cakes with pink icing and butterflies. This Granny was very happy to oblige. My son had his Birthday and he requested cheesecake. He ended up with a baked lemon cheesecake that went down a treat. Maddy licked the plate she loved it so much.
    The family headed off in the early hours this morning(Saturday). I have to say that as much as I enjoyed having the Grandies here, it is so nice to have a quiet space once more.
    Everything we ate this past week has come from the pantry or the freezer. We had a lot of hotch potch meals but they were all filling and delicious.
    Life is quiet good.

    1. Dear Jane, I was so glad you got to see the girls and son. And he loved his cheesecake! Now you know it looks like a favourite with Maddy too.
      I think you will be tired after all of this and the early start this morning! A weekend of recovery might be in order. We had rain over night! So pleased. It is added to rain earlier in the week and should keep things growing hopefully... desperately needed. I am having a weekend of this and that and finishing off some sewing! With much love

  24. Annabel what a wonderful week and how nice you found a kitchen table and chairs for the kitchen free :). Loved your description of spraying before moving things for spiders and the like. The wood box is so rustic and big and looks gorgeous.

    Not a lot accomplished this week in the gardens as we have had lots of rain which is a blessing and it is coming down again with 6.4 mm overnight and our rainwater tanks are full now and overflowing :), we still are putting rain barrels out to catch more water.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $71.70 in savings last week :).

    In the kitchen -

    - Made 3 loaves of bread in the breadmaker saving us $10.47 over buying them locally.
    - Made 3 batches of Moo yoghurt flavoured with our homemade strawberry jam saving $8.43 over purchasing it.

    In the gardens -

    - Pulled down 2 more posts from the grapeyard vineyard.
    - DH put together our post hole auger that turned up in the mail.
    - Tabatha the cat caught herself a 60 cm Eastern Brown snake and dispatched it without being bitten. She brought it inside and quarantined it in the food storage room and wouldn't let us in there until it had passed from this world. She is one fiercely protective cat with her humans and got to say an apt hunter.

    This scared me for the entire day as there was blood everywhere as I entered the room and I thought it was Tabatha's but fortunately not, and then I saw the snake on the other side of the room. We also had to keep an eye on her in case she was bitten for 24 hours as there is no way to see where our venemous snakes bite in most cases. Happy to say she is still her usual happy romping self this morning.

    Finances and listings -

    - I listed 32 handmade items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $52.80 on normal listing fees.
    - Paid our usual minimum fortnightly mortgage repayments and paid in addition the monthly interest on the loan as well to save time and interest paid.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I am glad Tabitha wasnt bitten. You are winning me over on cats. 60cm snake is fairly big and plenty venomous too! Lucy and family have a farm dog, they also though it might have been bitten by a snake. It was right next to the snake and they heard a snapping sound and believe the snake hissed and tried to strike. So everyone was upset. To make it worse the dog is pregnant. Anyway they also kept a close eye on it and it was fine! Snake must have missed. I was stressed as Harper loves that dog!
      It is just fantastic your tanks are full and over following!! We also had rain early in the week and again last night. It looks like it might rain again shortly. I hope so. It is added to what we had early int hew eek and grass is peeking through. Now we need follow up.
      Your baking and listings and being ahead on your mortgage are all wonderful things. Don't worry about the garden as the rain is the most important thing! And you still progressed on post removal!
      Have a lovely weekend! With much love,

  25. What I love the most is watching time after time how God is providing for you. Fantastic!! x

    1. I see it too Jenny. I am in awe. Thank you! xxx

  26. I enjoyed your table story. I can see myself doing the same thing! The big savings around here was on ordering new flooring for the bath. We were having brunch with my parents and talking about our need for new flooring in the bath. My parents jumped on this and asked if we'd be interested in a trade. They had our interest! In exchange for the labor of my hubby helping them build a new back porch they would pay for our flooring. We received $300 in flooring in exchange for a couple Saturday afternoons of work. Yes!

    1. Dear Wendi, That was a wonderful trade and you were helping each other too. Very nice! Also that was a great savings! I hope you will love the new floor! With love

  27. Hello Annabel,

    I adore that table!!! It fits the space perfectly, and it really sets the kitchen off nicely, great find! 😍

    Do you have a link to a pattern for your pin cushions? They are so adorable, I was thinking I could make some as gifts for my friends at Boomerang Bags sewing, they would love them.

    Gosh that is A LOT of baking. You are such a busy bee! But it is so inspiring to me, it motivates me to keep planning and doing.

    I've been attempting to make mandarine marmalade this week, from the fruit off our tree. I'm not having much luck, the first batch I made was too runny, so today I reboiled and bottled it, and I have a sinking feeling it it going to be too thick! But every mistake I make is not wasted, because I'm nutting out the process, and hopefully learning as I go along. Funny thing is I've made it before with no problems??

    I got ahead with the mowing this week, we have a large house yard, and paddock to mow. I could see by the weather forecast that we were in for lots of rain towards the end of the week, so I got in and mowed all day! It was just as well I did, for the rain came, if I had left it, the grass would have been knee high by the time it dried off enough to mow again, making it a slower/bigger job. I'm learning to prepare more and think ahead on many matters, and it never lets me down!

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you! If you look up You Tube, it is How to make a Petal pincushion. I just used a button underneath and something pretty on top. They are super easy to do. And fun. They use remnants and are quick! I could get addicted to doing them. Also I am thinking to use old embroideries to make some more. Please show me if you do some!
      I havent made marmalade but I am always making jam. I dont like the marmalade taste so I dont know how it should taste to get it right i.e. for gifts. But if something is too runny I refrigerate it and call it syrup! :)
      Well done on beating the rain! Planning ahead does save so much. I always think of how the oder we do things in affects the outcome... i.e. starting the washing and doing other stuff while that is going on, then it is ready... the order of the day..
      Have a lovely weekend! With much love,

  28. Dearest Annabel, I love your work ! Those bags are so lovely country like too ! So sweet. What a blessing to find a table like that. A kitchen is the heart of a home ! . I made a chicken soup for the coming winter when coughs and colds are about. I simmered the whole bird for two hours with onions and garlic and carrots etc. A beautiful broth came out and I've stranded this to be prepared for winter. Also been stocking up on tinned things for emergencies. Many women my age (40s) would laugh at this idea. However I know the bible is clear about this and being prepared. I don't have a lot of space in my tiny one bedroom place but I do what I can. I would love the space for a sewing machine but just don't. I've been praying for years for god to show me a way out of living on centrelink. I now have the hope of possibly being able to enrol in a medical ultrasound course and being able to make a life for myself. I believe this will lift me out of government housing which can bring you down being surrounded by people who forever the reason don't work and a not so nice neighbourhood. Sadly my dearest dog died last year before Christmas and was very very old . A new one has been born and I'm due to pick her up in two weeks. So exciting ! I do pray one day another man will come into my life. But until things I am learning "to be content in all things". Love Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia, You are so sensible to make a wholesome chicken soup ahead. Yes we should absolutely be prepared as we can. You are so smart and ahead of me. With the weather changing I was just looking in my freezer as I like to have on hand all the ingredients to be able to get chicken soup going in the slow cooker. I always include lots of garlic and bay leaf. And celery. (the list goes on...) but I could also do what you have done and make and freeze some ahead. That would be a great idea.
      How exciting you have a puppy to pick up in two weeks! You will be getting everything ready. I remember your Grandma helped you to get this puppy.
      I hope and pray you get into the course! That would be wonderful. When you are moving in different circles through a course or a new job that is a good time for meeting new people too! I helped a young girl get a job some years back as a medical receptionist. She was very good at it and became a manager for an area of the practice. Now she is married to a doctor!
      So one thing can lead to another. I really hope this will work out for you! With much love,

  29. love the rustic kitchen table & i agree with your dad, there should be a table in the kitchen, i have never really liked modern homes as they have no room in their kitchens for a table! one day i will have one too!
    lovely post
    thanx for sharing

    1. Thanks Selina! I know... modern kitchens tend to have an island for food prep but no table. And as far as I can see many people never even sit at a table for a meal anymore. A table is a gathering place. So an old house or an old kitchen will be for you too! My kitchen was the first thing I saw of this house and I loved it straight away! xxx

  30. Dear Annabel,
    This is another week that just flew by for me. You've accomplished so much. The baking looks delicious as always, and the grocery bags and finished pincushions are beautiful. Love that you were able to find and restore the kitchen table. It must be wonderful to have your Dad stop by for coffee and able to have regular time with him.

    A lot of our time this week was spent running errands and restocking or adding to pantry staples. I made more jam this week, enough chicken caccitorre to have for dinner and package up several meals for the freezer to use later. The weather here doesn't seem to know what it wants to do, with one day freezing temps and sometimes snow and the next day up into the 70s F. Today is one of those warm days after having cold and rain yesterday, so we're cooking a brisket and some chicken outside on the smoker today to be used some this coming up week and some to be frozen for later. For the gift closet I've been cutting out some things and making little kits so that everything is ready to sew at a later date. I find that when I have the time to do this I can just sit right down and make something at a later date. I hope everyone has a good weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I love having things cut out and ready to go. It is so fast then! I am not keen on rapidly changing weather especially when its back and forth I think everyone gets bugs then. I am happy for you bout the restocking. And the lovely preserves and cooking! Meals in the freezer are like an insurance policy!
      We have beautiful sunshine today after rain in the night. It is lovely! Have a good Sunday and new week! With love

  31. Dear Annabel,
    You had some great finds! I love the story about the kitchen table and also how your dad visits with you over tea. Colton's dad comes up to our house nearly every day to visit and then take John for a ride to check the cows.
    This week I have mostly just been trying to catch up on things. I fell behind when my sister-in-law stayed with us, plus working hard to get the garden in and tending to our ever growing flock of chickens.
    I am finally getting there though and have managed to do some decluttering and organizing along the way. I have a bag of clothes and a couple boxes to take to the thrift store. It feels good to have made room for the stuff I actually use and wear.
    I have managed to get a little sewing in, as well. I made lots of lavender sachets and am now working on fabric bookmarks, using all scraps. These will be for selling at the next farmer's market.
    I hope everyone has a lovely week to come!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Your little boy would just love his time with Grandpa and visiting the cows! It probably gives you a little break too, to get some stuff done.
      I love your chickens! The coloured eggs are beautiful!
      I cant wait to see your lavender sachets! They will do very well I think at the market! I will be showing your market photos next Tuesday! Hope your new week is going well! With love,

  32. The luck of the Irish has been with you I think! Great job on the table, and I'd LOVE a wood box like yours. Alas, not to be found in the 'burbs! I'm finally finding my feet with full time work and insourcing, and Sunday afternoons are now my best window of opportunity. Last Sunday saw me adding crystals to a faux Verdigris ironwork chandelier that I'd rescued a few years ago, but hadn't done anything with yet, only to decide I didn't like the green of the faux Verdigris after all, whereupon Husband painted it's mate (I have two) white, which is much better. This Sundays task is to finish them both and hang them in my She Shed which is almost finished! Joy! I baked brown rice 'cakes' for lunches, as well as rock cakes and muffins, and pre-prepared our veges and salads for the week. I'm missing my time blogging and commenting, but as we've often said, there is a season for all things. I squeeze it in where I can. Waving to the Bluebirds and wishing everyone a lovely weekend. I guess I'm late to this post and early to the new one. Ah well...Mimi xxx


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.