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 30 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 31st May, 2019.

This was a less frantic week (until yesterday) and I got myself into a routine of feeding the calf and lambs,  working outside on bonfires and the garden and inside on the usual stuff plus working on my pantry.  This was good!

We had a week of lots of rain and the grass has grown.  Once again we can look out over a scene of gum trees and green paddocks.

Laffie has grown and bellows at the gate for breakfast and dinner.  After she has her drinks she gallops and leaps around the paddock.

Lucy had given me 8 large bananas as they were over ripe.  So I made two huge banana cakes.  

Some of this to Chloe and Luke. Chloe slices cakes and freezes them for Luke's work lunches.

In town I found a heap of rolls and focaccia breads half price.  I brought them home and made them into lunches for Andy and froze them.

I planted a whole row of Hollyhocks in the garden.

When it is cold it is lovely having the oven on as well as the fire.  I made a big pot of pumpkin soup and a tray of Gluten Free Scones.

Each week I have eggs to use up.  This week I made two large bacon, cheese and onion Quiches. 

And later in the week I made a big tray of baked Rice Custard.  This is so delicious.

Dad gave us two old chicken sheds.  One arrived on a big trailer and we unloaded it and sat it next to the yard that Laffie is in.  It was going to take four men to lift it in over the fence since the gate was too narrow.  So it was sitting there and the next chicken shed is arriving soon.  I am so pleased about these!  I will have a shed to use for baby lambs and so many options for the second one!   
During the week Andy had to go to Adelaide and we had a big storm.  I spend that day mostly inside working on setting up a new pantry...  the animal pantry!   Suddenly I need a place to store bottles, teats, bedding, milk powders and so on.   There is a wall in the laundry that can take a set of shelves so this is going to become the animal supplies pantry.  Anyway, I knew it was windy but I got a surprise when I went to feed Laffie later.   The chicken shed had blown away!   I rang Andy and asked him if he wanted the good news or the bad news?   The bad news was the chicken shed blew away.   The good news was that it blew clear over the fence and was now in the yard we wanted it to be in!  Hahaha!  We decided when the next shed arrives we will sit it in the same spot and hope for wind!  How crazy is that!?  It is not really damaged it just needs straightening up and finally secured into its final position!

I continued working on the new shelves as now I can also put out there some other items like paper goods, candles, matches and so on.   I knew I had lidded containers suitable for it all as when we moved I had used tubs for so many things.  So I went through all my cupboards and set things up better.  This freed up all the containers I would need. 
Then it meant so many things could go out of the kitchen pantry and this would free up a ton of room in there.  So that was re arranged and it looks so much better.  And now I have more room to build that up.  Do you notice how when you move and organise things it has a domino effect?  

That was all going swimmingly when the phone rang yesterday late afternoon.  It was Chloe.  She had just come home from work and she could see a Ewe had died in the paddock.  When she looked she saw a little head pop up!  A baby lamb set there with it's dead Mother.  So Chloe asked was I at capacity here or would I take it?  So you know what happened next.  Off I went with a blanket and a basket.  
When I arrived Chloe had TWO lambs.  The second one was tiny.  She had found it alone sitting in the ashes of a fire where they had a bon fire the night before.  It seems it was looking for warmth as it was an orphan too.  It was a very sad sight.   So two lambs went into my big basket.
While driving home I was figuring out what to say to Andy as he was on his way home from Adelaide!

I had Colostrum formula so I started by mixing that up.  Meanwhile the twins are crying because their bottles are due too.  Then Laffie starts bellowing at the gate. 🙄

The tiny lamb was the much brighter and stronger.  She drank pretty well and wagged her tail.  I sat them near the fire to warm up and she was quite happy.

The bigger lamb laid flat on the floor as if he had been run over.  I thought he was dead a couple of times.  I put the teat in his mouth and he did not move, blink or suck.  In the end I put my hand around his mouth and squeezed his mouth together to squeeze the teat hoping some milk would spirt in his mouth.  After a couple of minutes of this he started to suck!  
I still thought he would not make it.  They stayed by the fire over night and I fed them three times then at 8 am.

This morning the little one is full of beans!  The bigger one is drinking and standing!   I have learned it is hard to tell but I am hopeful!

So that was my week.  We had a Swap Party in The Tuesday Club.  It was so much fun and parcels have been sent out and parcels are arriving!   Thank you everyone who participated.  I hope many friendships are formed too.  And some of the swaps that took place are looking beautiful as I have seen photos of goods traded already.  Later we are planning a seed swap.  The main swap will be a regular event as well.  I love mail, both sending and receiving!

Today is Dad's Birthday so I am feeding the lambs just before I go and will be back within four hours!  

How did you feather your nest this week?  I hope you found ways to build up your pantry and preparedness, save and get ahead.  I love to hear how you did!   We can get so many ideas from each other but most of all we can encourage each other.

Today is our last day of Autumn! Winter tomorrow! xxx

Thursday 23 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 24th May, 2019.

This week was the same again, another whirlwind!   It had it's moments to be honest.  But mostly it was good!

Where to start?  First of all last Friday I headed off to a town north of us to catch up with a friend, Wendy, who I had not seen in many years. It was so wonderful to see her.  We have so much in common and she was in town as she works regularly in the local craft store/co op.  It was so much fun!  Wendy arrived with beautiful big jars for me and I took her eggs. She is a wonderful cook.  I found great bargains in the shop too.  Wendy pointed me in the direction of a bottle she thought I might like for bubble bath. She was right!  

I got the little dog as the girls love dogs and I thought he could be a cake topper. (Was $1.)

Also these lovely fine English china little bowls.... $2 each.

I also found books for Andy and he was so pleased.  What a good day. We are going to make it a regular thing to catch up and do some bartering too!  

With the farm dogs growing up I made some dog beds.  These are thick memory foam.  We had a mattress topper neither of us could stand to sleep on even though it was thick and soft.  It seemed like such a waste.   I had the idea to set it to good use and cut the whole thing up with a giant sharp knife. For covers I decided to ask Mum if she had old pillowcases.  So I cut them to size.  So we have a stack of retro print dog beds haha!
My stash went more than half way to the ceiling.  The boys were pleased!

The puppies are amazing now.  This is them only getting nine in a photo was beyond me...

So.... meanwhile I had the calf feeding after many trials.  She is one moody calf.  Sometimes she drinks.  Sometimes not.   I was very worried at first.  I literally spent HOURS trying to get her to feed.  I learned the mother cow licks the calf all over to wake them up and get them to feed.  Not being prepared to lick her all over haha I rubbed her all over and talked to her,  tried different teats etc.  FINALLY she drank!   She drinks when she wants and if she doesn't want you can't do anything to change her mind.  If she wants a drink she stands next to the gate and bellows.  

This morning I was having a dream and there was a calf bellowing as part of the dream.  Something said that the bellowing just didn't fit into the storyline... then I woke up fast as it was Laffie wanting breakfast!   I go down to feed her in my dressing gown.  

Now she likes her head rubbed and is generally a big baby.

Just now Laffie is waiting at the gate...

During the week I made pizza bases and pizzas, Dad's favourite cake and then I cooked to help the girls. I made three pasta bakes with meat and tomato sauce (kind of like lasagne but with spiral noodles) and cup cakes.

So it was busy busy busy AND THEN Luke turned up with newborn TWIN lambs that just just been born, orphaned and rained on.  They were a mess and so tiny. 

I grabbed old towels and rubbed them dry and we sat them in front of the warm fire. 

Things started to get interesting at this point.  The next day I had to go into town and the lambs were on a four hourly schedule.  So they came with me in the back of the car in a basket. 

I found some bargains at the grocery store and stopped into the op shop.  I found maybe the best bargains of my life.  There is a pure wool luxury range and a local factory.  They sell wool underlays and quilts etc.  There were items with "seconds" marked on them and I believe they had come straight from the factory and were brand new.  I could find no faults with them so the reason they were seconds must have been so minor.  I got a woollen underlay in Queen size and a King sized Quilt for $5 each.  They are just divine.  I just could not believe it.  When I got home I looked up the prices.  Now I knew they would have been very expensive. The Underlay was $699 and the Quilt was $589.   I paid $10 all up.  I am beyond thrilled.  I also got a quilt for a gift for someone which I gave immediately and was so appreciated.   What a day! 

For some reason I decided it would be a good week to start The Swap Party in The Tuesday Afternoon Club.  This is so much fun.  If you are already a member you can join in the swap.  This will keep us busy for the next week.

Yesterday we headed down to see the girls.  I stopped to check out a little op shop.  Oh my goodness it was my day again!  I picked up a heap of the most beautiful childrens clothes.  I am just washing them up now.  First I showed Lucy to gauge her reaction.  There were Ralph Lauren little overalls, smocked and exquisite little dresses, cardigans....    Lucy just was in love with them all.

This little dress including the little shirt was $4 and the Ralf Lauren overalls were $3.   😍
I also got a bag of various big needles like darning needles, hook needles and needles to sew thing like canvas etc for 50c the whole lot. 

We set Laffie up a little house lined with hay and she is snug. 

We had the gift of help.  Dad sent over a worker with a chainsaw and he helped us with some trees we could not manage ourselves.  It was an incredible day. He cut and we carted and loaded the firewood.  What was achieved in that day is mind blowing.  I am in awe.  Now we have many big bonfires to have but it helped us so much!   Things look neater,  there is no tree leaning on the chicken house now, the driveway is clear, things are much better for next fire season and some trees that were a hazard are gone.  What a blessing this day was.  I had a bath that night soaking in Epsom Salts and then a hot pack on my legs! 

I came home with spinach for the chickens and that is my next job, to go feed the chickens.

I am very behind with many things.  How anyone manages twins I don't know as twin lambs, a bigger lamb and a calf are a handful and the kitchen is full of bottles with different formulas!   If I have not replied to your comment from last Friday I am really sorry.  

If you would please pray for Mum we think she has kidney stones, we are waiting on test results and she is in pain.

What a week! I hope it was a good week for you.  How did you build up your home, pantry, savings... how did you get ahead and get things done?  I always say little things add up!  They certainly do.  
Have a wonderful weekend!xxx

Thursday 16 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 17th May, 2019.

It has been another busy week!  I guess maybe I should accept this as the new normal.  My fitness has increased I have to say as daily I end up pushing the wheel barrow around full of hay/manure/wood/  dirt... something!

First of all Mum, Chloe and I headed off to see the girls for Harper's birthday.  It was a wonderful day.  Mum made Harper the most gorgeous gift.  If you remember the girls had a tiny lamb which was so small it was carried around in a bag....

Mum made Harper her own Lamb in a bag!

It was such a hit.  Lambie had to go everywhere and face the front so he could see.  😍

It was just a lovely day.  As usual I took cooking and came home with spinach for the chickens.

Then we had Mothers Day.  Chloe put on a beautiful afternoon tea.  I contributed gluten free scones...

And a gluten free sultana cake.  (The second one was for freezing.)

This little tablecloth was 50c in a new op shop I found.  It is in a little town we pass through on the way to see the girls.  I also found sewing cottons for 20c a reel and lovely bird book.  I seemed to have lots and the total was $2.70!  So this stop will become a regular part of the trip!

We have only two weeks until winter.  So far it hasn't been very cold but in the night I can see there is a carpet of fog outside and this is how it was almost until lunch time one day this week! 

This cleared and it was a beautiful perfectly sunny day.

After lots of interruptions I worked on my blanket and think I am starting to get somewhere.

I made pumpkin soup with a zucchini thrown in, a venison roast, chocolate fudge for the son in laws, baked rice custard (to use up some eggs) and sausage rolls, both gluten free and regular.

I had some left over pastry so a couple of nights later I made pasties.  Now this was interesting.  I just started to cook the veggies and mince (ground beef) for the pasties.  I was kind of running late that day as we had been burning a big bonfire outside.   I had onions browning and it was getting dark outside.  I must have been making a racket in the kitchen as I didn't hear anything but Andy came in and said "there is a man outside to see you."   I turned off the stove and went outside... there were two guys and they explained they had something in the truck for me from my Dad. mmm
This is what was in the back...

A calf!

It is a girl and we named her Lattie after one of the mens wife.  I thought I would call her after the man who delivered her but his name was Glen.  Not wanting to offend any Glen's but it is not a good girls name.  So I asked him what his wife's name and he said everyone calls her Lattie.  She Lattie she is!  He seemed quite pleased about this!
Truthfully I don't know if the calf with survive.  But I am doing my level best.  The next hour and a half we found a safe place for her overnight,  mixed up formula, got her fed for the first time after finding a suitable bottle.  I have on hand teats and formula knowing this was a possibility. So thankful I did decide to stock these things.   There was debate over her age and if she had a drink from the Mother ... the guys thought so then Dad told me no she never had a drink the Mother had died.  So I made a homemade colostrum and hoped.  

At first she was a handful and we had our work cut out.  After several bottles she is docile and comes to me.  Her first bottle was a battle.  Now she sees the bottle and comes and drinks.   But I am still not sure if she will be ok.  When they never got colostrum the odds are lower.  But I am trying my heart out!  

Eventually that night I finished the pasties and cleaned up the kitchen and it was midnight when I checked Lattie and Scooter and went to bed.  I did ring Dad also and say "thanks for the present Dad" and he laughed.  The men who delivered her had been working at the farm and going home right past our place.  So he asked them to drop the calf off.  He thought it was a good idea for it to be surprise. lol

Yesterday we went up to the hay shed and got a load of hay and made Lattie a little home all warm and sheltered.  She has a perfect little paddock next to our house and her own little home.  That is the thing about this place... I have had little yards and sheds and known one day I will fill them...

Today I am heading into a town north of us to meet a friend and Tuesday Afternoon Club member.  I have not seen Wendy in many years.  Fifteen? She found me some lovely old jars.  I am taking her some fresh eggs as she is a wonderful cook.   I get to check out a different op shop too! 
Plus it is a gorgeous day!  The sun is shining and just a lovely end of Autumn Friday. 

So that was my week!  Never boring around here. 

(This morning I fed Lattie his whole 2 litre bottle. He came to me nicely and just drank from the bottle like a good baby.  A good BIG baby!) 

How did you build up your nest this week?  I hope opportunities came your way to save, add to your pantry, preparedness, garden, craft and gift cupboards!   As things take shape around me I can see the power of just keeping at things.  Little bits do add up.  Be industrious and look well to the ways of your household!  xxx

Thursday 9 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 10th May, 2019.

I hope you had a good week.  We were blessed with wonderful rain. Good soaking rain!  This would be the best thing of all.  It was so desperately needed.  Now if we can have a few sunny days the grass will take off!

We had a really busy and good week.  It was hectic as we had to do a quick trip to Adelaide.  I fitted in as much as possible.  Trying to avoid going very often I even did a dental check up.  I figure living a long way away I would rather be preventive than have an emergency.  I wish I could have done more but we both had medical appointments, dentist, I did a huge stock up at Aldi,  went to the discount pharmacy, an op shop near by and then headed back.  I was just so keen to come home.  By then the rain had started and I was getting text messages from Chloe like "now there are puddles!'

Here are some ways I got ahead, feathered my nest, saved etc. this week:

I was working on Harper's birthday present.  She is crazy on Cinderella.  I made a little bag and pillowcase to match to go with a doll I ordered on line...

I also made another shopping bag from some fabric I just loved:

I started on the fabric I found in the "dog blankets" section of our op shop.  First I made three king sized kitchen towels. They are so thick and absorbent and look so coutnry style.  I love them!

(The quilted fabric underneath is the bed spread for $5)

Andy needed new jeans taken up so I took up two pairs for him.

Dad came by with a huge leg of venison.  It was so big I could never have fitted it in the oven or slow cooker so Andy sawed it up into manageable pieces.  It is many meals worth.  Plus we had cups of tea and cake at Dad's table...

(Which has a new tablecloth because I found this at the op shop for $3...)

When we returned home we were just looking at the driveway and paddocks and how much water there was.   Next I jumped out of the car and went to see Scooter.  He was so excited he leaped a mile in the air.  I gave him a bottle.  Chloe had been his baby sitter!   Next Scooter and I went to see the chickens.   I fed them a big bag of greens I had brought back from the city.  I had 15 eggs to collect and someone put in an extra effort look at this egg...

I am betting that is a double yolker!  This would be the first.   Now I have eggs to take to Lucy, eggs for Mum and eggs for a big bake up. Chloe and Luke have their own chooks.

It took me many hours to unpack all the groceries and put them away.  Some things like sausages needed dividing up and freezing in portions.  It all takes time but my pantry is so well stocked up and this saved a fortune.  I did have some great bargains and deals in the city.   One of them was a tray of 12 king sized croissants for $7.80.   I filled them with ham and cheese slices.  Luke and Andy both ate one then the rest I froze for Andy's lunches or when feeding people.  They were a bargain.

My friend was taking off around Australia and emptying out her place.  She sent me home with a Homeopathic medicine kit for my medical cabinet! It is fantastic!  Also essential oils,  a King sized white linen quilt cover, white pillowcases, a vase and much more.

The medical kit is something I have wanted and it a great addition to my collection.  

Yesterday I lit out fireplace for the first time in this house.  We have made wood piles, we have the wood box next to the back door full of nice dry wood and finally it was time.  It is amazing.  It creates so much atmosphere and warmth.  I have the kettle simmering.

Today I was getting ready as tomorrow I am going to see the girls.  I made up some chocolate cup cakes in lilac wrappers with lilac sprinkles.

I have lots of warm bedding to take down for Kelly and her nine puppies! 

Tonight I used up a big tray of ground beef from Aldi to make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce.  I simmered it for two hours.  It is delicious.  This will make many meals and I am portioning it out to freeze plus making a couple of ready to go pasta bakes.  

The week was full of opportunities to get ahead.  Lots of meat added to the freezer,  food added to the pantry, medical items added to the medical cabinet, gifts added to the present cupboard... and rain added to our paddocks.  

I love a week like this.  It takes a lot of energy to make the most of it all but so worth it!  Lots of little things really add up!

How was your week?  How did you build up your home?  I hope good things came your way also.  xxx

Thursday 2 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 3 May, 2019.

Here we are in May already!  I have had a very busy week.  It has been all good things though!
There was a lot of excitement!  The dog that Lucy's family adopted (Harper thinks it is her dog) had NINE puppies on Saturday night.  It was so exciting.  I got a running commentary via text messages....  "here is number 8 this one is brown!" and so on.  Finally after number nine there were no more.   They are all doing really well!
It was only weeks ago Lucy said to me they need more animals as the girls love them so much.  Well now they have TEN dogs and then during the week Kato came home with two lambs!
Suddenly I was giving lamb raising instructions over the phone...

One lamb is extremely small.  I suspect it was a twin left behind.   This one gets carried around in a bag!

So Lucy got her wish for more pets.  Be careful for what you wish for haha!

My lamb Scooter has grown like a rocket.  He is basically like a dog.  He bounds ahead of me and if I go in the back door and he can't see me he races around to the front door.  I think he is part grey hound!   Also he thinks I am his Mum.   When Mum and I went to see Lucy and the girls for a day I left the bottle for Andy to give Scooter.   I get a call... "Scooter won't drink."  I said "what do you mean he won't drink?"  (as he is always starving...)  And Andy said well he puts the teat in the lambs mouth but the lamb won't swallow.  🙄
When I got home Scooter was so thirsty!  Then he needed big cuddles.  Seriously what a sook.

He looks smug to me.

So that is the lamb report!

On our trip to see the girls I picked a big bag of greens for the chickens.  Also came home with a huge zucchini.

I made a big pot of pumpkin soup with the zucchini thrown in.   I shared this with Chloe and Luke.

I also made a big beef curry and between the soup and curry this fed us several nights and lunches.

Then I made baked egg custards.  I will have one of these for breakfast or a desert.

With fresh eggs each day I think of things to do with eggs.

I made a cake for Dad. This is his favourite cake.  It is called Mrs. Cadd's Sultana Cake. 

It looked so nice and I couldn't try it.   I won't even eat one mouthful of wheat now as my body aches so much if I do.  So I made a gluten free one and it worked perfectly and is delicious!  This is a winner. I will post the recipe in comments if anyone wants it.

Mum send me some wire to make a lamb yard.  This is so Scooter can be out on the grass in the day hopefully learning to eat!

I had several very good supermarket bargains so I stocked up.  This is your chance, when you see a great deal stock up!

Another bargain I got was a garden gate.  I saw on a local town Facebook Buy Swap and Sell a lovely gate for $25.  We are needing one and I showed Andy.  He said its a bargain and a good size.  So I got it!   There are really some great opportunities on social media buy/sell/swap sites and also seed swaps etc.

During the week I went to town and two op shops (thrift stores) to look for dog bedding.  With nine puppies there will be a lot of warm dog blankets needed.  I have become friendly with one of the op shop ladies.  I asked if there were more dog blankets out the back as the selection wasn't very good.  She took me out the back to a huge warehouse like area.  There were tubs and tubs marked "dog blankets" and she said go for it!   As I went through them I began finding things like a huge white quilted bedspread.  I spread it out... oh my goodness it was divine, no holes or damage so why was it in dog blankets?? Who cares!  It was $5 and I grabbed that.   I found two others that were quilted or woven textured white cotton bedspreads.  Both these were damaged but I plan to make cushions and kitchen towels.  They really thick beautiful absorbent cotton.  There is miles of fabric in each.
I did also get actual dog blankets!  Lots of them!  
I am kicking myself as as I left the lady pointed to unopened large plastic bags and said they are all also dog blankets.  I should have gone through them but as it was I had to do two trips to the car.  Next time I go I will go the same day to see the same lady and ask to go through them again.  
I will show all of these but they are all being soaked and washed right now.   The good bedspread is just heavenly and probably one of my best finds and best bargains ever! 

It was Andy's birthday and I made a black forest cake.

I spent hours spreading sheep manure over the veggie garden and flower garden.  My seedlings are doing pretty well too.  This all has improved my garden a lot.  Our soil is quite sandy but now it looks rich and dark.

Three nights in a row we had a visitor.  The first night I heard a strange noise.  This guy was sitting on the deck rails. 

It is a Tawny Frogmouth.  He looks a bit like Oscar the Grouch I thought. The photo doesn't show his rich colours but he was quite amazing.

We have a trip to the city coming up.  We haven't even left yet and I can't wait to get home.  However I will make the most of the opportunity and stock up at Aldi and so on.  

I really hope you had a great week.  How did you get ahead, stock up, save or set things to good use?

Some of our state had rain but we missed out.  So we are desperate for rain.  Please pray it rains.

Have a lovely weekend.  xxx