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 11 April 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 12th April, 2019.

It was a big week and seems a year ago since last Friday!  Then I somehow lost a day thinking today is Thursday.  Back to reality...

The week started with the start of shearing and the whole state had the most terrible dust storm.  It was a dreadful day.  We weren't the only ones affected badly as even a highway was closed.  But here it was awful and the little bit of green grass poking through from some rain was all dried out and I could see the surface of our paddocks blowing away.   Some were left just like bare sand dunes.  For the first time I truly felt the heartbreak of what a farmer feels I think.   I had to stop looking out the windows it upset me so much.

The following day Mum and I had our day trip to see the girls.  It was a wonderful day.  We set off at 9am.   Armed with the usual baking and knitting!

I was able to pick figs, zucchini and capsicums in the gardens. 

Also I noticed many big thistles in the veggie garden and loads of spinach.  I picked a big bag of each to bring home for the chickens.  So this was helping weed the garden and my chickens loved it!  I will take a big bag just for thistles every trip now. 

I managed to get a photo of Harper and "her dog" Kelly.   When they moved to this farm a farm worker had several dogs and this dog was not popular with him.  I don't think she was mistreated just more unloved.   Anyway Harper fell in love with the dog and would go to visit him and the dog appeared to adore her.   It became a love affair obvious to absolutely everyone including the dog owner.  He said Harper could have the dog!   So just like that Kelly moved houses and after about five minutes she seemed like she had been their dog always.  
With a mature dog they exercised a lot of cautions as we don't just trust dogs with children.  But with lots of supervision it soon became apparent Kelly has the patience of a saint and she has been just wonderful.
I got some photos on my phone and Harper was so excited to have photos of her and "her dog."  

Scarlett just loves her too!  She is holding her hand up they way her Dad taught her to do if she is feeding Kelly something.    When Scarlett wakes up from her sleep she asks "where is Kelly?"  Then where is Harper?"  In that order!  

Harper looked at all the photos then held my phone down in front of Kelly's face and showed her.  She said "Look Kelly!! That's you!!"   And Kelly looked interested! 

A few weeks back when we were there I said to Kato and Lucy... "do you realise Kelly is pregnant?"  They both looked slightly shocked and wide eyed, mouths open.... I turned to Harper and Scarlett and said "you are getting puppies!!!!" and they were going "yippee yippee" and dancing around.  It was hilarious!   I would be guessing Kelly with have puppies in about two weeks.  

Well, we had such a fun day and came home with produce and treats for chickens!

I made some of the zucchini into a bake with tomatoes Mum gave me and onions.  I top this with breadcrumbs and grated cheese and bake it.  This is wonderful as a side with a roast, steak etc and was delicious.

I got busy and dehydrated lots of apples.  It took just ages but they turned out so well.  All the rounds went into the dehydrator...

The odds and ends went into the slow cooker and for the first time I made American Apple Butter.  I had never heard of this in Australia.  It is so nice!! 

Vicky helped guide me with this.  I don't care for cloves so I left those out.  

Next I dried some figs.  Now I have so much dried fruit!  I learned finally to use my food saver and packaged it all up. It is so good!   Everything is sealed and air tight.  Looks kind of professional too! 

My niece Ally came and cleaned out our gutters.  She said she didn't want money so I gave her apple butter and dried apple as she told me how much she loves it.  So I gave her a big pack.

Ally and I made a deal.  She has red hens and a white rooster but her hens won't sit.  I have no rooster and Bantam hens that never stop sitting.  So some of her eggs are coming over here for my Bantams to hatch!  I am so excited.  We will share the chickens!    I cannot wait to have chickens!

I made two chocolate cakes. One was for Chloe and Luke.  And two Date and Honey Gluten free loaves.  

I did a trade! It was so generous of Tania... I always wanted a soap dispenser like Nan had.  To me this could save a fortune on dish soap.   Tania offered to send me one!  I traded her some essential oil blends I made up.   

Tania had also added some home grown and dried Basil and Oregano!  Thank you so much Tania!

Mum gave me six of her knitted hand towels!!

My "stock the present cupboard" craft was just assembly.  These button cards are a free print out from Shabby Art Boutique.  I purchased bulk buttons from Ebay...

These will go into little cellophane bags then into the gift cupboard.  I figure these will post in normal mail.  Most of my friends either knit, crochet or sew all all of them!  

Yesterday I went to the op shop and did a big grocery stock up.  It was a huge day.  I am still unpacking!   I got some warm bedding for the farm dogs and a vase and two huge jugs.  They are a good shape and size but hideous colours.  Over the weekend I am going to give them make overs! 

We did more wood cutting and bon fire building.

I planted Snow Peas into the veggie patch. 

So that was my week!   If you could have seen me peeling sixty giant apples as that is how many I went though! It was even a treat for the chickens to get so many peels and cores!   I had some left from the apple butter too, when the slow cooker was filled I made an apple butterscotch pudding.  

Today is sunny and lovely.  We need rain badly though.  They are still shearing.  As I type I hear dogs barking and men whistling them instructions.

I hope you had a good week and found ways to get ahead, build your pantry and preparedness,  do nice things for your family and home.   I am finding grocery shopping increasingly expensive and we have to be smarter and adapt to high meat and vegetable prices.  Fortunately I can buy less and less as the garden produces more and we have meat from the farm.  I watch the catalogues closely now and just stock up on the specials.  Are you noticing this where you are?
We might have a post on how to beat these rising prices.

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel you know it's a big week when you lose a whole day somewhere. Lucky you to get a soap shaker off Tania. I havent bought dish soap for ages. The slivers of the soap from the bathroom all get used up. Just dont use too much soap in the sink. It leaves scum on the dishes if you do.
    Bluey finished the bar he made out of pallets. We now have this on the veranda. Bluey and I, our daughter and her boyfriend christened the bar last night. It was a lovely evening.
    I have made two banana cakes this week. One cake had lemon butter cream icing. The other was dusted with icing sugar. I made Tania's Apple Slice and this was served up with cream and icecream. All three cakes were made with fruit that was past its used by date.
    I picked up a fabulous amount of cotton fabric, some lace, thread and a designer tank top from my favourite op shop this week. In the sewing room there are three blocks made of a log cabin quilt. I completed another of Jenny of Elifantz stitcheries and made this up into a quilted cushion cover. This has gone into the present cupboard.
    I will be making two lots of soap this weekend. One will be pure household soap for the laundry, liquid soap dispensers and kitchen and the other a pretty bathroom soap.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, What a great week! Your haul from the op shop was amazing! I love Blueys bar and admire what he can make!
      The soap making sounds amazing and I cant wait to see!
      I think the soap they used to use in the soap dispensers for the dishes was Velvet? I will check with Mum on this she will remember. I have heard a lot of dish washing liquids contain bad ingredients. So I will be glad to change over.
      All your cakes sound delicious! You have reminded me about Tania's apple slice I will go look that up as I still have apples!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Hi Annabel, we always used sunlight soap in ours, way back when,, you can also buy home brand yellow soap at the supermarket, but I haven't seen velvet for a long time
      Love Lorraine

  2. You have had an eventful week for sure. I love apple butter too and dislike cloves as well. What a great find on those buttons they are so pretty.
    It snowed here one day and today it's supposed to be really nice and warm. In between all that I did plant some lettuce in a grow bag because the garden is too wet. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Dear Vickie, Hopefully soon you will be able to plant out. I did see the USA is getting a ton of rain again but not sure if you would be affected. I hope no more flooding! You would be having the same price rises there that we are. When crops wash away etc prices go up!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  3. I love the hand towels your mum made they are beautiful. Your baking looks amazing i love dried apples. I thought it was just me but i'm always showing my cat his latest phone photos and yes i;m sure he looks at them.
    This week at Coles i did a large stock up on Betty Crocker cake mixes. There on special $2.60 and boy are they a nice cake and come complete with frosting, I freeze slices to pack in my work lunches. I made pancakes last night and froze the left overs for another night. Another stock up from Coles was frozen vegies they were about $1.34 and below for 500 grams. With the price of fresh vegies i used a gift card from doing surveys and bought 25 various packs.
    I was able to buy 3 tins of Dole pineapple for $2 so i stocked up and have made pineapple fritters, sweet and sour chicken. fruit skewers and ham and pineapple pizza. I still have quite a few cans in my stockpile. It seems to be getting harder to stretch the dollars every week. I have been trying to put money aside as tax time approaches and my passport is due to be renewed soon. I went through my receipts for the year and i am proud to say i have only bought 3 new things this year costing about $70 and i have spent $100 on second goods i am saving well and enjoying my life. Have a wonderful weekend people enjoy this lovely weather and take care. Leanne xx

    1. Dear Leanne, Well done! I like Greens cake mixes and do the same, stock up when they are on special and they make up so nicely and super fast! You did well on stocking up. It seems we are all noticing the prices. Some are a real shock. So we have to shop more and more smartly!
      Well done on your savings for the year. That is very good. The challenge can be enjoyable. It was a beautiful day here today and I think the whole weekend will be lovely! Thanks so much, love

  4. That dog Kelly has really landed on her feet! How wonderful that the kids have a dog to love..the puppies will be gorgeous, too, no doubt. I love the stories of life as you are now living it..hard work but lots achieved. Keep on inspiring us, Annabelle.

    1. Thank you! Yes this dog has it so good. She is so happy! Puppies will be so much fun. I am excited too! It is wonderful to be here. It is kind of an adventure. Life is much more interesting! Lots of work but I love it.
      I hope you have a great weekend! With love

  5. What a busy week you have had, Annabel. My my, your mother knits some beautiful hand towels. She is very talented I must say and has probably had years of experience. I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Mum has been knitting and crocheting for years, since she was little. She got faster and faster! I still have knits my Great Great Grandmother made. And Great Gran, and Nan and Mum... and they have all been worn again and again.
      It was a good week! I hope you have a lovely weekend too! With love

  6. Hi Annabel and I am so sorry about how dry it is there for you and I understand about seeing all the in our case red dirt flying everywhere and things literally being covered in dirt.

    You have powered ahead this week and done so much preserving of your own produce to fill your pantries and grocery stockpile and should be proud of yourself. It saves so much money.

    I am noticing grocery prices going through the roof too especially meat, tinned fruit and vegetables.

    Here is some bulk online sites we use for our staples which may help others in Australia that we find really cheap compared to buying things at the supermarkets in smaller quantities even with postage - , , and finally As usual check prices in your local area compared to these including postage but for us it was so much cheaper than buying in the supermarkets.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $952.14 in savings last week :).

    Blessings -
    - Our neighbour gaves us 2 cooked mud crabs and 3 rockmelons from her gardens.

    In the gardens and house -
    - We cleaned the fireplace flue using a drill operated flue cleaner we purchased on eBay saving $167.14 over getting a tradesperson in to do it for us even including the cost of the flue cleaner purchase :o .
    - Crawled into the ceiling cavity to measure up for the insulation batts we are saving for. Serious spraying in there before we clean it and put the batts in as there is Redback spiders and eggs sacks in the corners and I am not taking any chances.
    - Pulled down 3 more grapeyard vineyard enclosure 14' ironbark posts and only 3 more to go, happy dances.

    Groceries & kitchen baking -
    - Found lots of up to and half price specials and purchased tinned cream of chicken and mushroom soups, ice cream, tinned tuna and reduced produce from IGA saving $111.16 on usual prices.
    - Did a bulk purchase of staples and tinned fruits from Woolworths and took advantage of $10 off rewards and other specials saving $13.15 on usual prices.
    - Did a bulk order for things we were short of from Nuts About Life website being cocoa powder, coconut, cinnamon, cashews, walnuts, mild curry powder and nutmeg and saved $134.10 over buying them in either Aldi or Woolworths too including delivery for the equivalent amounts.

    Finances and listings -
    - Listed 10 more free listings on eBay saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - At a school fete we purchased a electrician tested secondhand breadmaker for $5, an insulated army surplus coat for DH for $10 and a new suede leather hat for me saving $262.80 over buying new or the coat secondhand.

    We had a wonderfully productive and money saving week this week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, Thank you for the links to the stores. I will check each one out. I am very impressed in what you saved at the Nuts about Life store.
      The bread maker for $5 was fabulous. And pre tested! What a deal! So useful. Also the coat and hat! What deals!
      I am interested you have noticed the grocery prices too and your methods for beating this.
      I also would be eradicating the red back spiders! I am much more concerned about spiders now since I had bites. We have really big black spiders here and I hate them! We do all we can to conquer them but still get the odd one.
      We both ad very good weeks! It is so good to get ahead as we can. I believe these price rises will only continue as the drought is still going, fuel is expensive which affects trucking and deliveries...
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  7. Dear Annabel,
    The pictures of Harper and Scarlet with their dog Kelly is just adorable. I can only imagine their excitement of having the puppies arrive. Your Mum's knitted hand towels are just beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing the makeovers of the vase and jug.

    It has been a busy week for me. It started off with my yearly eye doctor appointment. I don't need a new prescription as my eyes have not changed. This will be the second year in a row. I'm so grateful.

    As for nest feathering, I made the 2 ingredient gluten free dough and from it made with I think you would call pasties, using leftovers as the filling. Also pizza crusts for the freezer, and bagels. I finished making Easter cards and envelopes to go with them, cut out the bunny pattern out of paper, sewed them and then filled them with minature chocolate Easter eggs and sealed them. The weather was really nice here this week so we took a drive 3 towns over to visit a stamping store. That was an incredible find as they were having a 50 percent off sale. While we were out we stopped at an Aldi's on the way home and noticed that their prices have risen considerably over what we paid for some items last month. One thing I've found very helpful are two books that I have "A Cabin Full of Food" and "The Everlasting Meal." They both taught me a lot. During this nice weather we did some work outside to clean up the flower beds of winter debris. The usual dusting and fluffing got done. Wishing everyone a good weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, I have the book A Cabin full of Food" and it is excellent. I will look into the other one. Interesting that I am hearing constantly from both Australian and US ladies about price rises. Now there are always price rises but for me I have seen giant ones and this is what I keep hearing from here there and everywhere. And we have things to explain it like drought in some places, flooding and storms in others and the US does too. Then there are higher fuel prices... they will increase everything! We just have to be ever more careful and prudent with what we buy and how we use it!
      I am glad about your eyes. I worry about mine deteriorating. I was late to need glasses then I needed them all the time quite fast.
      All your Eater preparations and cooking sound beautiful!
      Have a great new week! With much love,

  8. Hi Annabel and I was thinking that since you have an extended family that maybe you could all pool shop and put in one big internet order for the whole family and split the cost including postage according to what you each order ?. We buy bulk citric acid and split it with the local RSL club who pay us for a portion of it and also use it for cleaning and it is also a good substitute for lemon juice in recipes and jams as it has antibacterial properties.

    I agree with you that the prices will only increase more with the massive drought and floods so it is a case of when you see a good bargain, and it is in your budget, is buy what you can afford is what we do. We also have 2 x 400 lt freezers with one for meat and one for vegetables and butter etc so we have the room to stock bulk items.

    How we do it is we buy everything if it is cheaper in bulk and store all our staples in 10 lt plastic food grade storage buckets or smaller ones for the spices etc. You can buy the storage containers on eBay or in some discount variety stores too and they are called food grade storage containers. That way when we see a good bargain on staples we buy it by the kilo and store it in our buckets as we use a lot of it cooking mostly from scratch. What we do is use the supermarket prices as a guide and compare per unit price on the bulk internet websites and do a mock order to get the postage costs of the order. Once we do that and see the postage cost and work out we have a substantial savings compared to local prices elsewhere here we put in the order, when finances permit, once every 6 or 12 months.

    We noticed too that our local Foodworks store has meat clearances on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (could vary in different areas too so just keep and eye out), where they clear their near to use by date meats which are perfectly fine and quite often half price or less of normal prices. We get the meat home and then package it in meal sized portions for the freezer.

    Our local IGA has similar clearout bargains on their produce like today we picked up 313g of mushrooms for 0.99c, avocadoes for 0.99c each, 6 large kiwi fruit for $2.99. These are fine if you use them fairly quickly or slice and freeze them or in the case of mushrooms cook them and package them in meal sized portions or dehydrate them. IGA also have what they call market days usually Friday - Sunday where they have good specials on meat such as rump steak we got recently for $8 kg and other items too. I believe too that IGA now have online shopping and deliver in parts of SA and other areas so well worth checking their website or better still if you have a store near just drop in.

    I hope this helps you and your family and everyone else to save money on their groceries too.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, Thank you so much for your ideas. When you mentioned butter I was like !!! yes the price of butter has gone nuts! I am amazed now but the prices I am seeing. I agree with your methods. I am prepared to go out of my way, shop several stores, shop at weird times etc. to get the better deals. Getting to know the local stores and their habits is a big thing like I remember I think about you striking one on Christmas Eve or NYE as you heard how they clear everything out. I hope I remember that right?
      I will look into what we might be able to buy in bulk and share around the bigger numbers of the family.
      We have room for more livestock. I just put my hand up to take on orphan lambs and calves. They re free for the asking as there are too many usually to be adopted. So I am getting ready with powdered milk, teats, bottles, buckets and so on. We are considering turkeys! Expending the chickens. I have adapted to using more venison. And liking it.
      We are really grateful we have so many ways we can change and adapt here. Plant more fruit trees, establish a big pumpkin patch and so on. We have so many opportunities. Having a bit of land is a big asset! I am sure God brought us here for many reasons and this is one of them.
      I am studying the catalogues much more too. And a major thing... I am able to barter and swap much more. I am loving that!
      Everyone reading will appreciate your tips too. Thank you! With love

    2. Hi Annabel, wish you and I were closer, then I could set you up with turkeys. I looked after a friends turkeys and chooks for months, so I hatched a few turkey poults, so have far too many.
      We do bake them. but are mainly planning on turkey mince.
      So another type of meat/mince for the freezer.
      Love Lorraine

  9. Hi, Annabel.

    I love the girls' new mommy-dog. She's a keeper. Sounds like it was truly meant to be. And the girls' outfits reminded me of my two at that age (32 months apart).

    I'm not big on the depth and heaviness of cloves in apple butter, either, but I can smell that apple butter from here. Isn't it marvelous?! Here's a Daniel Fast recipe I found for Date Butter that has no added sugar. OH! It is marvelous, too!

    Date Butter (I always triple this!)
    1.5 cups pitted dates
    1.25 cups water (or more)
    3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

    Place dates and water in a cooking pot, making sure dates are covered by the water. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Immediately when water boils, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes with the pot lid "cracked." Dates will break down and soften.

    Meanwhile, measure out and place the spices in a small bowl and set aside.

    When the 45-minute timer sounds, remove pot from the heat and stir in the spices, combining well. Set another timer for 15 minutes and cool the dates in the pot, covered.

    Pour dates mixture carefully in a blender carafe, using a rubber spatula to scrap the pot clean. Pureé dates mixture in blender until smooth. place the date butter in 16-ounce (550 ml) jars. Wipe the jar rims and secure the lids to retain moisture and reduce further evaporation. Let jars cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate.

    Your new soap holder reminds me of beautiful gDonna and her delightful blog!

    Your mothers handiwork is dreamy! OH! What a feast for the eyes!

    We were in Palau and Manila for a week, so nothing done here on the home front. I was so glad, as was Handsome, to sleep early this morning after we arrived home at the crack of dawn.

    *hugs* all around,

    1. Dear Kelley,
      Thank you for the recipe as I love dates. The apple butter without the cloves is just lovely. To me apples taste beautiful especially caramelised and I want that taste not spices. So this agreed with me.
      I enjoy gDonna too and yes this is just her kind of thing! Mum confirmed the Nan used Velvet soap and it worked a treat. And this soap is bright yellow and so cheerful and smells good. It is still available and comes in boxes of five or six. So I am converting! One less thing to buy will be dish detergent.
      Enjoy your time away! With lots of love,

  10. What a lot you accomplished! No wonder you feel as if you lost a day.

    The apple butter looks delicious. I love making it. I like mine chunky so I don't stir any more than I have to.

    The buttons are such a beautiful idea. Just gorgeous.

    1. Dear Jenny,
      Thank you so much! I am totally new to apple butter so I will try a few different ways over time. Have a wonderful new week, with love

  11. Ladies, you have all been so busy! I love to hear all you have been accomplishing, keeps me motivated and provides so much inspiration! I stayed home most of this week, only going out 1 day to restock refrigerator with milk and pick up fresh veggies. I am actively working to change my diet to be perimeter store foods. Kicking the sugar habit, is the hardest though! I am happy to report I have lost 20 lbs :) But wish to keep on this track. It is time to feel better and have more energy.

    Last week my baby chicks arrived. The are just so very cute! Once these little girls are laying I'll have such a rainbow of colors in my flock and in the egg crate. Right now I have shades of brown/cream and 1 hen that last a sky blue, and 2 that lay light green. My new girls will add dark brown, speckled brown, olive green, blue, more light green and white. So much fun :). We are in the process of taking down a fenceline that is no longer needed and I plan to re-purpose those posts to build a new coop yard for these little girls running next to my existing flock (hubby will build a house for them). Eventually, I plan to cut a small door between them and integrate them to one large flock.
    Whoops I have just been chattering away...Have a blessed weekend ladies!!

    1. Dear Kath,
      When I am home more I accomplish so much more. Being on the farm has helped this. Mostly I am home fully five days a week and sometimes six. I get so much more done this way!
      I love hearing about your chickens! And I love your plan for the coloured eggs. A tray of eggs all these colours would be beautiful! I think they would sell very well if you wanted to sell any. I would LOVE to see a photo when you can and to learn which ones lay which colours. I would really love to have speckled eggs! I might research a bit about that! Re using the fence posts is a great idea. I feel like I am right there with you as plans like this are wonderful to me!
      Kelsey is also diversifying her flock, this will be on the blog tomorrow... she aims for lots of different coloured eggs also. I love it! I need to catch up to you ladies! With much love,

  12. Hi Annabel. I am a long time reader but think this is only the second time I have posted. I live in Southeastern Tennessee here in the States. We have had a huge jump in gasoline prices here. Around the holidays we were getting unleaded gas for around $1.79/gallon. Today is was $2.48/gallon. Food prices here are okay for the moment. Aldi is my go to for great prices and stockpiling. We also have a grocer here called Publix which usually has some great loss leaders every week. If I can find coupons to go along with those sales, Publix becomes a very reasonable place to shop. Without coupons, I just don't go in. Their prices are way too high. I am without a job currently due to medical issues and am hoping to feel better soon as I have lots I would like to get done in the canning, freezing, dehydrating departments. We have recently started planting our summer garden and have Yukon Gold potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and lettuce in the ground. It is forever a work in progress and the plan this year is to "stagger plant" so that we will have less food coming in for a longer time frame during the summer. We will see how it goes. I love how you make everything you touch so lovely. Perhaps someday I can get there, too. Thank you so much for your blog. It is a source of joy for me every week :)

    1. Dear Denise, Thank you so much for commenting again! Wow that is a big jump in prices! Sometime prices like that will send food prices up as I presume you are like us, so much food is trucked.
      We do not have coupons. How I wish we did! Vicky and Roseanne have taught me a lot about how they shop with coupons and I cant believe how good the deals are sometime. I would be doing the same if I was there!
      I hope your health is improving and yes while home you can just do so much to get ahead. All the departments you mention take a lot of work but the results would be fantastic. I am trying really hard to stagger the planting as you mention too. Thank you for your kind words! Have a wonderful new week! With love

  13. I am agreeing with the higher grocery costs. I noted this week that my Aldi total was higher than ever. We didn't buy steaks or load up on the non-grocery bargains. It was just plain foods. I went over the ticket and there was no mistake or big surprises. It was just higher than it's been. Electric costs too seem to be going upwards. Good thing we know how to economize!

    1. Agree Terri it is so interesting how you and here in Australia we are all noticing the same!

  14. Oh my goodness on the puppies to add to Harper's joy, lol!

    It is starting to warm up here. I found a tomato plant in the compost pile so I took it out and planted it. I've been busy working in my yard, trying to get things back in shape. It's been a load of work but I find that doing 'a little at a time' adds up to a lot of work done. I did a mini makeover on my guest room with a quilt I got from my mom. It's all white with a blue, green, grey and lilac fabrics, so it looks summery. I found blue lampshades and curtains at my dollar store so it was an inexpensive makeover. I'd hoped to do a lot more this week but with the yard work and regular housework and babysitting duties the week flew by!

    Isn't it lovely to get to know your new home in this new season? I love that you mention the whistling of the shearers to round up the dogs. It's a new seasonal sound for you.

    1. Dear Terri,
      I have been moving around tomato plants that keep popping up as well!
      The quilt sounds beautiful. I am very fond of blue so your room sounds just lovely to me!
      I do like the farm sounds. Mostly it is birds then sheep then dogs and whistles. There is quite a big of action especially with shearing. As the seasons change I am noticing new birds and the wind in the trees etc. I am forever looking out the windows too and I can see so far, I can see the shearing shed and the hay shed. I can see down the driveway. I keep an eye on everything! I hope your new week is off to a good start! With much love,

  15. Hi Annabel, thank you for sharing this sweet story about Kelly, how nice that she went from being unloved to living with two adorable little girls who love her and she clearly loves in return. That made my heart happy. Your pictures are beautiful as always. I am looking forward to seeing more pictures of your country home as you continue to put your touches throughout. I had some luck this week with specials and markdowns and a gorgeous framed picture at the op shop for $6, when i got it home and removed the sale sticker it was $79.95 rrp. I finished my Easter shopping and decorating and am making up parcels etc, I love decorating for this as I love the beautiful soft pastel colours. Would love to see pics of the puppies when they arrive. Hope you have a lovely weekend, it is a beautiful Autumn day here and I am going to do a little gardening in the sunshine. Love Lisa xo

    1. Dear Lisa, I also love the soft pastel colours! Right up my alley!
      I hope all goes well with these puppies and I will be able to post a stack of photos! I think it should be two weeks or less until they are due.
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I think how Kelly came to their family is just gorgeous and so special. This is how we have come to have pets... they kind of come to you.
      You got a great picture, what a bargain! I love an op shop bargain as you know!
      I will show much more of the house, it is coming together now. When we moved in we didnt have a lounge or many things... but now it is looking more like me!
      Have a great new week! I have to think over my goals for this week... a short week too with Easter! With much love

  16. What a precious story about Harper and Kelly! Sounds like a "God-thing" to me :D
    Kelly looks like she's smiling at you in her pictures. I'm saving the 2 pictures of your granddaughters with her...they are just too precious. I know you know how beautiful your girls are.
    Boy, your niece, Ally, is a good 'un and not afraid of work. I remember she helped you paint your last house. That's so cool you can help each other out with your hens and roosters. All in the family - lol. You did a great job on the apple butter. What a misnomer, eh? It's not butter at all. More like spicy, pureed applesauce....or chutney.
    "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid..." came to mind about the terrible things we hear going on in the world around us. "Be strong and of a good courage."
    Love, Mary B

    1. Dear Mary,
      Yes I agree with you. God cooks things up we could never arrange!
      Ally is a very good worker and ever willing to help. And we share a lot of interests. She loves her chooks. She loves fruit trees and lots of things I do. I say this comes from my Nan and her Great Nan.
      Thank you for your verses. I am adding "put on the whole armour of God" as well! With much love,

  17. My parents always had store bought apple butter in the fridge and I did not like it as a child and likely because I don't like cloves either. I love the girls with Kelly. There is nothing like a good dog! I am in total agreement with you about not trusting dogs with kids. I cannot imagine a dust storm like that. Scary!

    We had bad storms early in the week and several big trees come down in our woods. I am so thankful that they were not near the house. Then out daughter in Germany burned her hands so badly and I went to pieces wanting to be there to take care of her. She is dong okay now but still healing. We are expecting more bad storms over night tonight and tomorrow. Now I am really nervous about all our big trees near the house.

    Grocery prices are up for sure in the regular grocery stores but I did not see any difference at Aldi. Like I have mentioned before, we have so much grocery competition that we can pretty much always find deals. We bought 18 pounds of chicken breasts for 78 cents a pound, peanut butter was 40 cents a jar, big bottles of canola oil were 1.35 each along with many other deals. If we lived in the small town where the lake house is we would not be so fortunate.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Lana you might now like apple butter if you did it with no cloves. Its lovely this way! We have farm dogs here. We were taught you never ever trust a dog with a child and are very cautious with dogs until you know them very well and even then a dog can kill a child so easily. People still dont learn this despite babies killed by dogs pretty regularly.
      I heard a bout your storms and think they are still going! I hope your trees are holding up. I have two trees I am nervous of and we aim to get them removed this year. It cant come soon enough for me.
      I really felt for you over your daughters burns. I have thought a lot about how it would be to be so far apart and when you get distressing news it would just be awful. I am so glad she is ok and healing. Also that she is somewhere with good medical care.
      You did so well with your bargain stocking up! Competition in an area does help for sure. I hope your new week is off to a good start. With much love

  18. How productive you were, Annabel! Those cakes look delicious! So happy so see you have made some apple butter too, it’s so tasty. And what a special friend the little girls have in their new dog Kelly. Animals can be such a blessing. Enjoy this week! Love, Teresa

    1. Dear Teresa, Thank you! It was a busy week! I am trying to get the new week off to a good start. The puppies will be due soon! Have a very good week! With love

  19. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, all of your cooking and harvesting is wonderful! I love apple butter. The girls look well pleased with Kelly; what a sweet dog!

    We have definitely noticed increasing prices here at the grocery stores. Part of this I think is all of the flooding in our farm regions. Aldi had amazing prices on butter, eggs, and fresh produce this weekend, so I stocked up and added to the freezer. I also sent in a deposit for a 1/2 steer from a local farmer; it is a lot of money up front, but ends up saving hundreds over purchasing from the store, comes from a farm I trust where the animals had a great life and are fed on grass, and supports a local small business.

    Cedar pollen is out in full force, so it was a good weekend to clean all of our flat surfaces, wash linens, and vacuum. My husband also disposed of some more trimmings from the garden/diseases rosebush removal. (There is maybe 1 small load left; ten-year-old rosebushes have big roots!)

    Yesterday, I did a big cook-up for the week (pasta, sirloin, roast w/veggies, brown rice, and single-serve oatmeal for the freezer). I also put some stitches into a shawl that will end up being a gift, and on the border of a cross-stitch piece for my kitchen.

    I hope everyone has a good week.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      We seem to have all had the farmers being hit with either drought, floods, storms... this is for sure one of the big reasons we have steep price rises. I heard the whole of Europe has butter shortages. So storing up butter is a good idea if you see a good deal. A half a steer will be amazing. We are wanting to do this and now I have a second freezer so I will be ready.
      We have pollen in spring too... the pine trees near the house shed tons of it and you can see it in the air like giant yellow dry paint spreading around. So thick. It doesnt bother me hay fever wise but Mum is really affected by it.
      Your cook up sounds so good. So does your shawl and cross stitch! I am baking today for Easter and a farm working bee. With much love

  20. Thanks for sharing about Harper and can see the love between those two. Little Scarlet's hair is so cute. The towels your mom made are gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing from your beautiful and blessed life!


    1. Thanks Leslie! I think Scarletts hair is growing sideways instead of down! haha! Gosh this week is close to over too! Such a busy week but good! I hope the same for you! xxx


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