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 7 March 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 8th March, 2019.

It has been another really good week!  After last weeks apple picking as you can imagine I have been working through apples!  And also pears as they are ripening daily.

Yesterday I made both the girls an apple pie.  Chloe collected hers and tomorrow is my day with Mum heading down to see the girls on their farm so the second one will be delivered then.

It is however one step forwards five steps backwards with the apples as our apple tree is still covered in them and each day I pick this many...

It is so wonderful picking apples. You cannot be unhappy when picking fruit I don't think!

When not using apples I am using pears.   One of the ways I used them was in a salad. We have crumbed brie and apple, rocket and walnut salad.  I keep on hand Mimi's Sticky Balsamic Vinegar and drizzled this over.  it was so delicious and we are having this salad again tonight.

On top of that each day I picked tomatoes.  This picture looks like I enhanced the colour or something but I didn't! 

AND the chickens have started to lay!  A couple of first eggs are hilariously small.  But they are laying!  It is only two weeks since we set up the new nesting boxes and hay etc and the nesting boxes have a couple of eggs every morning.  

Soon it will be five eggs every morning!

Some of the other ways we built up the nest and got ahead this week were:

I planted rosemary, thyme and organ to fill some spaces in the garden.  Also I planted flowers were I had lots a few things in the heat so all the gaps are filled back up.

As I was doing this I noticed a lot of little "weeds" and on closer inspection all my weeds are baby tomato plants!   So as I emptied pots I re filled them with baby tomatoes.

I made a pear upside down cake.

I made two honey and date loaves...

I made laundry liquid.  I got 12 bottles!!

I have been sewing but nothing is complete yet!

I made lots of cards.

I made a big rice salad and I suspect now that is the last of the cold meat and salad dinners as Autumn seems to have kicked in!  It is beautiful!  We have lovely days and cool nights.  Glorious.

We even had a tiny bit of rain.  Clouds were coming over and I prayed for rain.  A few minutes later I saw this...

We had several hours of light rain! 

I found ric rack braid in the op shop and several warm pet rugs for the farm dogs for winter.  Luke was pleased with these.

So that was my week more or less!  

Now I am heading into the kitchen to make chocolate cakes to take to the girls tomorrow.

I really hope you found ways to save, build up your home and get ahead this week.  Over on the Tuesday Afternoon Club I have seen some amazing efforts that are so impressive.  It warms my heart to see so much industry!   I love to hear how you feathered your nest! 

Have a wonderful weekend. xxx


  1. Rain! What a blessing! We have had light sprinkles here, not even enough to put 1cm in the bottom of my rain barrels, so I'm still watering with the hose. I hope you were able to fill tanks. The weather has cooled off here since Tuesday, glorious to be able to put socks and shoes on and need a jumper in the mornings. I've been busy making cards to send to the nursing home this weekend. Wayne will be at the train exhibition all weekend, so I need to have them ready to go on Monday morning and one of the fellows from Sydney will very kindly take them and deliver them to Dad for me. We are praying hard this week about a goal we have, and in between my other chores I've been planning and making notes on what we need to do so if it comes to fruition, we'll be ready. Have a lovely weekend.
    Cath xxxx

    1. Dear Cath, It is Sunday midday now and it started drizzling early and now it is pouring. I am sitting here listening and looking out... things are looking soaked! Dad will be dancing around! So I hope it comes your way.
      I am praying for your goal too. It is very good to be doing things incase your goals kick in then you are ready. I think this is an act of faith too. We do this we go ahead with what we can and the details catch up later! It is exciting and we all need new goals all the time. It is wonderful! With much love

  2. Annabel another glorious week in your part of the world. Your pies look simply delicious. Pastry is one of those things I have yet to master.
    This week has been all about the garden. Here, in our sub tropical climate, Autumn is the best time for the garden. We also got some of the much needed rain this week. Last weekend Bluey and I drove out to the sugar cane farm and loaded the back of the ute with cane hay. After the rain I was spreading this around the garden to lock the moisture in.
    My seeds are all up and doing very well. Katie swapped me some of her self sown tomatoes for some of my self sown lettuce. This week I trasnplanted self sown lettuce, tomatoes, nasturtians, chilli, basil, bak choy and parsley all over the garden. One of the sweet potatoes was growing slips so I pinched them all out. I have 8 sweet potato slips in water growing lovely roots. I will plant them out once they have established a good root system.
    My sewing was limited to a little jacket and a stuffed bunny for a friends Grandie due later this month.They were so cute!
    The NBN finally arrived yesterday. I managed the change over from old service to new, with a new provider. Katie did help me get the devices logged in to the new service. I was worried that I would muck it up but it was so very simple.
    When I havent been in the garden I have been cleaning inside the house. We are expecting Our son and his family sometime next week. It will only be a quick stop over but it means I get to see my little girls. Excited MUCH!!!!
    Life is good with Granddaughter cuddles coming.

    1. Dear Jane, I seldom make my own pastry. If I do I make Maggie Beer Gluten free pastry. Otherwise I just always keep puff pastry in the freezer ready to go. I love turning left overs into a pie.
      Autumn is my favourite season... but probably spring is our best growing season. Still I can do a lot in autumn and Im planting winter veggies. Your sewing was beautiful! And such a nice thing to do!
      I hope you get on ok with the NBN. If it is an improvement that is good.
      How exciting the girls are coming!! That will be beautiful. Enjoy your week! With much love

  3. Dear Annabel, Those pies look so professional and yummy. It has been a good week here too. I loved the photo of the rainbow. Last night I finished a crochet rug I have been working on for my Mum, who I am visiting next week, so today I washed it in wool wash and dried it in the sun. During this week, I have managed to clean every window in my house inside and out and am waiting for last curtain to dry. Tonight my husband will help me pressure wash the fly screens. Clean fresh windows make me feel good, I cant stop looking at them, they were filthy beforehand, I am ashamed to admit it had been a year. I want to put windows in my more regular cleaning schedule so that doesn't happen again. I also baked two batches of choc chip,cookies today. My daughter said please bake some more because there is a line up at school. She went on to explain that there is a waiting list, yesterday it was Sophie's turn which my daughter swapped one cookie for half a gourmet chicken sandwich, today is someone else's turn etc. I find that funny and also strangely satisfying, I have never thought of myself as good in kitchen but I have obviously got choc chip cookies right! I hope your visit today is fun. Have a great new week everyone. Clare

  4. Oh wow I love that you had rain Annabel and the rainbow is so pretty, God certainly listens to our prayers and knows what we need. What wonderful things you are making with your produce :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $213.79 in savings last week :).

    Blessings -
    - A few different friends gave us a watermelon, honey due melon, flake, nectarines and 2 dozen eggs.
    - Our neighbour who doesn't use her grey water said we could use her's to water our paddock fruit and mulberry trees with. We connected our spare grey water hose to it to reach the trees.

    Finances and eBay listings -

    - Listed 67 items on eBay on a free listing promotion saving $110.55 on usual listing fees.
    - DH and I had a few catch up meetings on our finances to better fine tune things and keep each other abreast of what is going on.

    Purchases -
    - On special from 2 country supermarkets we purchased on special a 1kg bega cheese, 1.07kg of champagne leg ham, 4 x 500g butter blend, 6 burrito kits, 2 x samboy chips & 2 x french fries, 2 x clix biscuits & 6 kg of beef sausages saving $51.54 over buying them in our larger supermarket in town.
    - Bought a pair of heavy duty side cutters for $9.50 on eBay saving $40.45 over buying them in our local hardware store.
    - Purchased 2 rolls of thread tape and a sprinkler connection from the irrigation store saving $3.78 over purchasing them at the hardware store.

    In the gardens -
    - Did more work on the grapeyard vineyard enclosure we are taking down due to termite damage in the upright posts and whipper snipped and removed the remaining tie wire.

    Water Preservation -
    - Used grey water from our washing machine and grey water pumped from both our's and the neighbour's grey water tank to water paddock fruit trees, ornamental potted flowers and household lawns.
    - Used dish rinsing and shower warm up water to water potted fruit trees and herbs.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  5. I managed to plant an avocado and a dwarf mulberry in my Orchard this week, I had purchased both of them just before Summer, and luckily (as it turned out) I didn't get time to plant them for a few weeks, then Summer hit so dry and hot, and I made the wise decision to keep them in their pots until Autumn, and plant them then, so that's exactly what I did. This brings the total number of plants in my orchard up to four now, (I planted a lemonade and a cumquat about 6 months ago) Next market day, I plant to buy a couple more trees to plant out, I hope to get them established before Winter, then I might wait until Spring to plant a couple more. Baby steps for me, but I'll get there 😊

  6. Hi Annabel,
    Is there a post on your laundry liquid? I'm looking for alternatives to commercial stuff and would love some guidance!


    1. Dear Misty, I used the recipe on MrsHappyHomemaker blog using half a bar of pink zote.... I added one cup of laundry booster and to each bottle I added a spoon of eucalyptus oil. I am very happy with it. It works and the laundry smells fresh. If you need other natural recipes look up The Bluebirds are Nesting, Clean and Fresh. Also the wool wash is wonderful and you can find that in my soap making series... it is easiest to google the blog name and then add what you are searching for i.e. wool wash. This is one of my best recipes of all time! If you have any more you would like let me know! With love

    2. Thanks Annabel.

  7. You are truly blessed to have all that beautiful fruit at your ready. Those pies are lovely.
    I am so happy you have gotten rain and cooler temperatures.
    It sounds like you most definitely had a blessed week.

  8. Annabel, The rainbow is lovely! So happy to hear you received some rain. Your gardens were probably very happy.
    The pies look beautiful! It sounds like everyone is going to get to enjoy them.

    I spent the week home recovering from illness with the hopes I recover sooner.
    My husband left so many leftover in the frig that the majority would have gone to waste, there was no way I could eat that much. So I put it all to good use and repurposed them into other meals for the freezer. I made a chicken pot pie and a beef pot pie. Felt so good to use everything and not see it go to waste.
    I also made a bread pudding and topped it with stewed apples, 1/2 of it will be going into the freezer, well i do have to try it, don't I.

    I wasn't able to go to a thrift store this week but I did come home with a free lunch size cooler with ice pack for free from my GYN appt. It was meant for baby bottles but it will be used for our drinks while we travel.
    I did stop at Joann's and found a perfect container for my embroidery floss at 50% off and a 2 inch hole punch I plan to use making old Christmas cards into gift tags.

    May you have a Wonderful Weekend and visit with your Granddaughters.

  9. Congratulations on the eggs. It looks like your move to the farm has been rewarding in more ways than you imagined.

    I made chicken noodle soup with homemade broth from a roasted chicken. Used onions and carrots from the garden (they were harvested in September and have been kept in the root cellar). Also used corn from the garden that I had frozen last fall.

    Ordered the rest of the seeds for the garden.

    Until Wednesday, we had not been above freezing temperatures in over 3 weeks. Makes it really hard to stay motivated to do much other than stay warm. It is supposed to get up to the 40s (F) late next week. Still cold, but not so bitter. We cannot see our garden or yard right now, due to the snow.

    I don't really have much to add, but since I love reading everyone's posts, decided I should contribute something.

    Hope everyone has a good week.

    My mother turned 96 on Tuesday. I told her I would take her to dinner wherever she wanted to go. She chose this little hole in the wall diner about 3 miles from my house, that strangely enough has the best fish and chips.

    1. Hole in the wall places ALWAYS have the best fish and chips, don't they??? :) Jen in NS

  10. What a beautiful double rainbow, Annabel!

    You certainly had a productive week! This week I was not very productive, but I was able to put previous productiveness to work for me! :) I call that a win!

    Have a lovely weekend!

  11. I am glad that you are getting rain. Your fruit looks delicious. It will keep you busy but I know you will put it to good use. The pies look beautiful. The girls are so lucky that you bake for them. Have a wonderful week.

  12. No one makes as beautiful an apple pie as you do, Annabel! It is amazing how quickly you have established producing your own food and in such abundance. You must feel positively rich. I am glad to hear of your nice weather, too.

    I bought a game for my nephew for Christmas at nearly 75% off. 16 year old boys are so hard to shop for so I am glad to have him done.

    On Rhonda's 'If you do stuff, Stuff gets done' blog I saw her post where she made a list of all the meals she could make from what she has on hand so I made my own list. I was quite surprised at how long my list ended up. This will be a great help in planning meals and get things used in a timely fashion.

    I continues to be cold and dark and rainy here. How we long for warm and sunny days!

    Have a great weekend and enjoy your visit with the girls.
    Much love, Lana

  13. Dear Annabel,

    You have been really productive this week!! I know just how manic the harvest season can's go, go, go, but such a blessing!! Your pies are beautiful, and I'm sure the girls really appreciate your thoughtfulness! I love those cards you are making...such beautiful pictures! Hoorah for the eggs! Aren't the first few pullet eggs just hilarious for their size? I'm also glad to hear that it's starting to cool down there and that you're getting some rain. You talk about the cold here sounding scary, but that's just what I feel about some of those summer temperatures you get over there!!!!

    This week has been busy here, too. I made some bars/squares, oatmeal muffins, corn tortillas, and four loaves of sourdough bread. Cooked the very last of the pumpkins from last fall and pureed it up. Made a pumpkin quiche to take to my neighbor, along with a couple of the oatmeal muffins, and had a visit. No, the neighbor with pneumonia isn't the one with cancer, thankfully!!! Also made some crustless mini quiches for the Fire Department, which is hosting a funeral reception today. Mended a mitten and 2 pairs of socks. Sold 6 doz. eggs. Got information together for our income taxes. Cleaned out our clothes closet, including going through the clothes, and then did a major dusting of our bedroom. Helped my oldest apply for another job, which was quite a process online. Cut my hubby's hair. Crocheted some more afghan squares and knit on some cabled mitts. That's all I can think of!!!

    We "spring forward" tonight for daylight savings time, so less sleep tonight! Hope you have a wonderful week ahead, and I'm looking forward to Alison's post on Tuesday!

    xx Jen in NS

  14. Dear Annabel,
    I'm so happy that you have had another wonderful week, although I know it was a lot of work! All of your photos are beautiful...the pies, baskets of apples, bread, tomatoes, eggs, rainbow!

    Last week was our younger daughter's birthday. I made her a pillow with a dinosaur with sequins that change from gold to silver depending on the way you stroke the sequins, a heat pack of fabric she had selected from my stash and also gave her several bottles of the favorite shampoo and conditioner that I had gathered at good price. I had almost all of the sewing done when my machine stopped working, so was able to finish the last bit by hand. Husband and I were both disappointed that we were unable to find a way to make the repair ourselves. After looking into the cost of repairs, I ended up with a new machine for not a whole lot more than the lowest estimate for repairs, plus the trade in they gave on the old machine. Between making new items, repairs and alterations I know my sewing machine has saved us bunches, while also providing an enjoyable creative outlet. I'm thankful that my mother taught me to sew at a young age and encouraged me to experiment with sewing, as well.

    We enjoyed visiting with our two oldest granddaughters who are home from university for spring break.

    Savings were pretty good: yearly check from purchases on the Costco card that we pay off monthly, $42 worth of over-the-counter medication from insurance, !0% of plus coupons, free items, clearance and sales at the grocery store.

    My husband has been doing a lot of repairs and maintenance on our vehicles, saving considerable.

    I hope you and the rest of the Bluebirds have a wonderful weekend and new week!

    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, Your presents for your daughter were beautiful and I am sure your sewing machine saved you a fortune. I hope you love your new one. It takes a little while to get used to a new machine. Reading up on all it can do is so good as often there are features that are so handy!
      It was lovely to be able to see your Grand daughters! And it is wonderful about the savings from insurance and on car repairs, that would add up to such a lot!
      You have a lovely weekend too. It is raining here so this is very good for us! With lots of love,

  15. I enjoy your blog so much-it is one of my favorites! From a small city in central Illinois, US

  16. Lovely cards! So inspired to make that pear salad. Yum.



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