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.

Friday 21 June 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 21st, June, 2019.

What a week!  Good things to report!  And an exciting day today!  I am sorry this post is late.  It is because my internet has been bad and pictures would not load.

First things first.  As you know Dad comes over often and seems to love seeing what we have been doing, how the calf is, how the veggie garden is doing...  I was telling him a couple of weeks ago that it was almost time to plant bare rooted fruit trees (as it is winter here) and how much I want to add to the orchard.  We have a lovely rabbit proof fenced area with three big old fruit trees in there.  These are the trees everyone told me had no fruit yet we had tons of beautiful delicious pic apples and two types of pears from them!
Next thing I had a message from Mum.  Dad had ordered me ten fruit trees and I just had to pick them up in town!  I was so excited.  What a beautiful gift!  In fact I could hardly think of a nicer gift or more meaningful either.  Dad also picked out the exact trees he thought would be good.
So much of the week revolved around these trees.  I picked them up on Tuesday and we were told to plant them as soon as possible.
I knew we would need tree guards because of the animals.  Andy set to work to make them.

Then yesterday Luke came over with the farm Bobcat.  This little tractor is the handiest thing!   We placed the tree guards where we thought worked well, we lined then up with the established trees and formed three rows.  Luke dug deep holes in no time flat.   This is the paddock with Laffie and the lambs.  They seemed to enjoy is and bounded around and inspected everything.

I added two buckets of sheep manure to each hole and planted the trees.  Then the tree guards went on and next they get steel droppers to hold them in place.

We now have an orchard!   This area we now have thirteen trees but overall we now have seventeen fruit trees!   We will have a couple to add as Apricot and Orange are missing and we need those.

So this was a great amount of progress for the week.

During the week some of the ways we got ahead, saved etc included...

I cut Andy's hair.
Mum gave Andy three beautiful pure wool jumpers.
I made sour dough gluten free bread.
I picked Parsley and was able to give a bunch to Dad and a bunch to Chloe.
I made a big batch of spaghetti sauce.  This made two meals, a meal for each of the girls plus a meal for the freezer.
I made Play Doh for the girls.
To use eggs I made six cups of baked egg custard.
We added hay to the animals shed as it has started to get really gold.  We hit freezing last night and will again the next few nights.
I made a batch of gluten free scones...

Today Mum is coming and we are heading south to see Lucy and the girls.  I made a chocolate cake to take.  It is decorated with what I could find in my tin of cake decorations.

Last week I shared a very sad photo of an orphan lamb that I rescued and it was in very bad shape.  I did not expect her to survive.

This is her now!   We named her Blossom.  She has been a lot of work as she does not suck a bottle properly.  But she is so gorgeous.

Lambs are just the strangest animals.  Within about three days they go from out in the paddock to loving you like crazy and wanting to live in the house and watch tv.  Like they know everything!

During the week I finally had a little time to sew.  The first thing I made was something to help me feed so many lambs.  It was kind of an experiment but it worked!!   I sewed bags to put bottles in and hang from the fence.

These have helped me so much and saved me so much time.

The only glitch was I had to adjust how I tied them on because at first I tied bows and Laffie came along and undid them!   I was amazed.

Since then I beat her and tied them on with a knot and now it works!

I made pillowcases for the girls plus a batch of multi coloured play doh.

So the reason today is extra exciting is we are getting a puppy!  Like I need more animals, right?
I had thought about having a dog.  Dad said too how we should have a dog and how having one would be good security.  And now we have the chance and we get her today!

I took a photo of the garden near the kitchen door.  This has a parsley edge I planted all from seeds from the old house.

This time last year we didn't know we were moving for sure.  When we did move this area was sand and weeds.  Now I pick from it every day!

So that was my week!  I am very pleased as we were able to add to our preparedness very much!  We saved in many ways and it was wonderful!

I hope you found ways to save, get ahead, increase your pantry and preparedness and generally build up your home.  Looking well to the ways of your household includes so many things!   It is beautiful to look back over the week before we begin to plan the next one.

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. what a beautiful time you are having!!! and you seem happy from how you write about everything, that is what everyone essentially is looking for in this world, seems you have found your heaven! take care from Iowa

    1. Dear Melody,
      Thank you! I am amazed how going back to the simple things, not watching tv and having lots of gaols has been so good. It is a much happier life. I am in my element! Have a beautiful weekend! With love,

  2. Annabel, What an amazing week you have had.
    Blossom looks so much better,smart little girl knew she was in a good home. Laffie does seem to love to have fun. Your sewing sure did work out well.

    Such a sweet gift from your Dad for all. Luke sure made short work of planting the trees. Can't wait for your Dad to see them all planted. He will be smiling so much.

    We have progress here on the sun room though it has been raining and raining. We had a break in the rain yesterday and I was able to clean the 2 front flower beds and part of one side of the house. My how things have grown.

    I haven't added to my pantry much, though we did add to our youngest's quite well. I am going to the grocery store today in hopes of finding a few items to add. bargains seem far and few between but every little thing added helps. Husband has even learned to go into the grocer to check for mark down meat if he is in that plaza. With expected rise in prices adding to our freezer is a win.

    Hoping for a more productive week next week.
    Love, Rosanne

    1. Dear Rubies,
      Yes Dad will be pleased when he sees the trees all planted with beautiful surrounds. We wasted no time! It would be possible to waste a gift like this if they were not planted out quickly and looked after. That wont be a problem here!
      I cant believe your weather! I am glad the builders made great progress though.
      You are right there are many things now on the stock up list. Pork, all meat actually, grains too.
      Have a restful weekend! With love

  3. What a great week and what a wonderful gift. Once again we are smiling after seeing the lambs. They must bring you so much joy when just a picture does it here. A neighbor here used to rent a tractor whenever he had a big job to do and I think it saved the cost in labor. It is wonderful what a machine can do to save our backs. We are to the heat of summer so I am thankful for shade trees and an air conditioned house! The fireflies are out every night and we have many more than last year. There has been a lot of news about them decreasing so I am glad to see them in abundance again. We are enjoying meals in our screen porch and evenings on the porch swing. Mosquitoes have been really bad so the neighbor boys built bat houses and put them up in the trees to attract bats to eat the mosquitoes. I think it is working! Good neighbors are a real treasure.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, Fireflies sound so beautiful to me and they are truly a thing of fairy stories to us!
      I am amazed how much a tractor can do. A few times now we have had the help of tractors. It is amazing.
      I love the sound of your screened porch. I would be out there having meals too. Just lovely. I hope you enjoy a beautiful weekend! With love

  4. Dear Annabel,

    Your garden is beautiful! How wonderful to have it just outside the kitchen!! And how clever you are to sew those bags for bottles! What a great idea. I am excited for you with all those fruit trees. I have put the same protection around our currant bushes against the deer...when the berries ripen, I put bird netting all over the wire to keep the birds from flying in and eating the bright red berries. Yes, it takes some finangaling to get in there and pick, but at least when we get in there, there's something to pick!!

    This is wonderful about a dog! I have noticed a lot of hinting around here lately about it being time for us to have another one; our last dog died 4 years ago.

    We are currently getting a huge deluge of rain. They were predicting up to 30mm in the heaviest showers, which would wash away all the seeds I planted yesterday, so we put some plastic (the stuff we use in the fall to protect against freezing) over the beds to see if that would help. I've got to keep an eye out and see if big puddles are forming on the top of the plastic...that wouldn't be good, either, and would need to be dumped and the plastic replaced. If only this rain could be shared with all those areas that are so dry!!!

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Lots of love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, When we moved in there was a kind of weird little garden area wrapped around a deck and entrance. It was pretty ugly. I decided it should be a kitchen garden. Now it is an asset! I run out there to snip herbs and run back inside and keep cooking!
      So far we havent had deer in close but it will probably happen. Meanwhile we have cows, sheep and rabbits!
      Jen if you can get a pup and train it right I think a dog is very good. The price say a dog is your number one security measure, no cameras, not an alarm system but a dog. So there is a practical excuse!
      Everyone in the US seems to be getting so much rain and sounds like it is extending up as far as you. I hope your plants will be ok!
      The weekend was lovely. Now I am hoping to get the new week started well! I hope the same for you! With love

  5. What a wonderful gift that will keep on giving. The gift of fruit trees. You are so lucky. And boy will these help build up your homestead in time...I would love to be able to add some fruit trees. Husband isn't interested in the least.

    1. Dear Tammy,
      I am working on adding as much as I can food wise from chickens to pumpkins, all veggies, fruit trees, vines... Maybe ask for fruit trees for Christmas or your Birthday? To me they are a wonderful present as you say.
      Have a great new week. We are off to a cold start! With love,

  6. Dear Annabel,
    What a wonderful gift all of those fruit trees were and the help getting them planted! Your lambs and calf are so cute! I'm glad they are all thriving under your care, even though they are challenging and a lot of work. The bottle holders are clever! It is such a pleasure reading and seeing the lovely pictures of all you have going on. I'm looking forward to seeing your new puppy, too. Hope you and your mum are having a lovely visit with your girls.
    It's been a little while since I've commented. One long comment disappeared and we were also gone for three weeks visiting our son and family in Washinton state. I still read and enjoyed your posts, though.
    One of the ways I have been saving is using airline miles to pay for our trips. One of the airlines allows you to go in and change flights with no charge, so I've watched the flights and changed to the new, lower costing flights several times.
    I've also done my usual combining of sales, clearance and coupons at the grocery stores. Free items included 2 tubes of toothpaste, pack of organic mini peppers, potato chips, cookies, BBQ sauce, coconut water, granola bars, $2 off total, and a pint of ice cream. Pork ribs were on sale for $1.97 a pound with an additional $2 off coupon, so for $3.51 I was able to get a package that providing at least 3 delicious meals after my husband grilled them.
    My sewing has been repairs and alterations, rather than new creations, but is still a help. I know of some who will discard an item because of a small tear or missing button. I'm so thankful my mom taught me how to sew, make repairs and think creatively.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, I am sorry about the comment that disappeared thank you for commenting again!
      I hope you had a lovely time visiting your son and family.
      My crafts at the moment are also more practical than creative. I love meeting and alterations as they are such savers. We have hit really cold weather here now and where Lucy an the girls live is colder. I am making heat packs and draught excluders for all their big doors. I hope to get a lot done today (Monday) as they are urgently needed! Well done on your bargains. Have a wonderful new week! With love

  7. Another great week. Love all the lambs and Blossom is just too sweet. Love that you nurture and spoil them!
    I can't wait to see the puppy!
    Have a fantastic weekend.

    1. Thank you Cheryl! I am working on some puppy photos! She is such a good puppy too! xxx

  8. Dear Annabel,
    Your week has been so blessed and perfect. Your Dad's gift was so thoughtful and kind. It won't be too many years and you will have all the fruit that you can preserve and eat.

    Those precious animals warm my heart every time I see a picture of them. What kind of puppy are you getting? Dogs are the best friends ever.

    Everything you bake looks amazing and delicious. I am trying to find a gluten free flour recipe minus tapioca starch and xanthum gum.

    This week I focused on sewing. I hemmed several tops that I had purchased on sale last year and finished up two skirts I made. I still have more alterations and sewing to work on next week. Your bottle holders were brilliant!

    Have a wonderful weekend to all the Bluebirds.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, may have what you're looking for. In place of the xanthum gum she uses guar gum. She doesn't use tapioca at all and has many recipes that might be useful to you. I've also used pysllium husks in place of gums and subbed arrowroot for tapioca. Hope this helps in your search. Blessings, Cookie

    2. Thank you, Cookie, very much.

    3. Dear Glenda, Thank you. I knew you would see the importance and significance of such a gift. It is so wonderful!
      I am glad you got some sewing done. All along with the lamb feeders I imagined the solution to involve wood work and wire. Then I realised hang on... I can sew something. Just goes to show we can make all kinds of useful things.
      We now have out puppy. She is a kelpie (mainly) she seems pure kelpie but she might not be. I chose the smaller one and quieter one of the litter. They are known for being super smart. So far it seems so too. This was one of the farm dog pups. I very much love her Mother as she has a beautiful nature and is so well behaved!
      I will have photos soon! I hope your new week goes well. With much love

  9. Dear Annabel,
    It's seems like this week went by at lightening speed. The bottle bags to feed the lambs are ingenious. Laffie sounds like quite the character. Blossom is just beautiful and her name reflects that she's certainly blossomed under you loving care. Your Dad is so thoughtful. A gift of fruit trees is so exciting. The pillow cases are doing cute. They're on my to do list too.

    It has been busy this week getting things done between the rain drops. I think we're in the same weather pattern as Jen in NS. However I did manage to weed the garden and harvest lavender. Now there is lavender hanging all over the house drying. I made a dozen gluten free blueberry muffins with almond flour, worked on die cutting elements for cards, started a big batch of vanilla extract that I will use but will also give as gifts. Vanilla prices are out of this world here I found some reasonably priced beans and in the vodka they went to brew for awhile. made meals using leftovers,continued to rearrange the pantry,made a trip to Costco because it was just a couple of miles from the VA where my husband had an appointment. I,m sure there's more can't remember.
    Hope everyone has a good weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I had been dreaming of something that would hold the bottles and thinking git would be made of wood or wire or something. Then I thought of this which I could do myself. These have helped me so much! Just goes to show how useful sewing is!
      How beautiful to have so much lavender drying. I remember when you had roses drying and how pretty your bunches were hanging up! I would like to make some vanilla again... I have the vodka if I can find good beans at a decent price. They are expensive. But gosh they are beautiful.
      You had a good week. I hope this week will be a good one too.
      My Dad always called me Blossom when I was little! The fruit trees are looking good. It will be so exciting to see them flower (hopefully) in Spring! With much love,

  10. What can I say Annabel...what a week, what a life! 😍

    You are so lucky to have your family support you and your Orchard, I would be thrilled to bits!!! Mine is coming along slowly, I pruned an overgrown lily pily during the week and spent a good few hours putting it all through the mulcher, I intend to use this precious green waste in a lasagne style garden bed in my Orchard, in which I will plant a blood orange, I have clay soil and I’m told citrus don’t like wet feet, so building the soil up in this way should help.

    What an ingenious idea your little lamb feeders are! Fancy the cow undoing it!

    I had a very busy week, I worked 3 shifts this week, I normally only do one, but the extra money is so handy. This is likely to be the last of the extra work available for a while (I think) so I did what extra I could. I’m looking forward to just one day next week and some time at home to catch up with the cooking and cleaning.

    I spent two big days in the garden this week, weeding, mulching and pruning. I’m trying to get it tidied up while the weather is so cool.

    So that was pretty much my week. I’m tired, but I’ve done a lot! I think I’ll take it a bit easy over the weekend and spend some time with the family.

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      I am thrilled to bits for sure. Dad keeps doing this... finding a way to throw a stone well into the future. It is good thinking. I appreciate it so much.
      How I wish I also had a Lily Pily! They are gorgeous!
      You were busy but yes the extra work and extra money will be very handy. And you still achieved a great deal in the garden! No wonder you were tired. I hope you had a bit of a rest over the weekend. Have a good new week! With much love,

  11. Hi Annabel, I am dizzy just reading about your week. What you manage to achieve never ceases to amaze me. Isn't Blossom a little sweetheart? And what a great idea to make feeding bags. The animals all look to be in excellent health - well done. Best wishes

    1. Dear Del,
      Thank you I do love the animals and try to look after them well. Now we have added our puppy! This week has turned out equally busy too!
      I hope your new week is going well! With much love

  12. Annabell, you are an exceptional lady. They are all such lucky animals to have been adopted by you and now a new puppy, it can’t get much better than that.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you are a real inspiration to all your readers. I can’t wait to see your pup, what breed and what us his/her name?

    1. Thank you so much Marilyn for such kind words. Our puppy is adorable and so good! Her name is Scout she is a Kelpie farm dog. Probably not purebred or anything. We picked a smaller one from the littler at my daughters farm. She is so smart and I just love her. I wanted her because the Mother Kellie is just the best natured dog I have ever known she is so good with the girls it is amazing. I hope your new week is off to a good start! xxx

  13. Hi Annabel,as always i love what you do and how far you have come from first moving in, Your animal pictures just make me smile thats all for now as i have a frozen shoulder very painful take care and thanks for sharing.
    Mel xx

    1. Oh, Mel, I'm so sorry to hear you have a frozen shoulder; I was diagnosed last year with it and, you are so right: very painful!!! Did they mention physical therapy and a cortisone shot? Both hurt, but really did the trick for me. I pray you get the help you need for that shoulder. Sorry for butting in, Annabel - just had to sympathize there ;O)

    2. Thankyou Mary,iam able to do a bit more,but its been a slow recovery,i havent had the cortisone shot yet as i have heard its very painful, i couldnt even do my shoe laces up :{thankyou for the kind words and prays

  14. Bravo, bravo Annabel. Did I say Bravo? What a great week and those feeding bags are a stroke of genius! Naughty Laffie though! You will love your fruit trees! After many years of persuasion on my part, we planted a dozen four years ago, and even though they're not planted in ideal conditions, they do well. Yours will thrive! I'm busy, but happy, and every week brings new lessons. This week we discovered that our daughter may not be Coeliac at all, and may actually have IBS with a wheat intolerance which is quite a different thing. This is wonderful news in the oddest way, as she has had tummy problems since she was a child, and was continually eliminating foods from her diet hoping things would change. But now it's a whole new approach! A strange win! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I think your fruit trees were a great idea. I am so glad we have these! I hope they do well... spring will tell if they burst into flower!
      Interesting re the wheat. I think (but dont know) I am not gluten intolerant at all but that wheat is an inflammatory and this gives me pain. So for me it is pain not stomach. Harper has had tummy pains all along too and so did Mum since she was a child, same with me. These things are tough to figure out. It seems to take years and tons of experiments and much of it is up to use to work out. Not one doctor ever suggested to me to stop with the wheat for my pain. And it was so simple and fast. So my faith in doctors is not high, not for these kinds of things anyway.
      I hope the new week is going well. I added three more fruit trees to complete the collection! With much love

  15. You are amazing!!! Those animal babies are so very precious <3 Well done!!
    xoxo. Mary B

  16. Annabel how beautiful is blossom and no doubt as she gets older she will learn to suck better and probably why the Mum left her unfortunately. Your baking is divine and I am so envious of the tractor post hole digger after us using a manual petrol powered one. Your Dad is a wonderful man giving you all of those fruit trees and your herb garden looks lovely.

    We got down to -5 oc this morning brr but the insulated house and combustion stove with fan kept the inside house temperature 12 oc so definitely so much warmer in the home now.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $1048.24 in savings last week :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a homemade cheesecake saving $9.01 over purchasing in the supermarkets.
    - Made a 1.556 kg batch of brownie mix for $4.42 saving $6.63 over purchasing.
    - Made a double batch of chocolate walnut brownies from our premix saving $33.60 over purchasing them ready made in the supermarkets.

    In the gardens -
    - Got our 8 posts for the kangaroo garden enclosure put up and trimmed to the same height.
    - Weeded and mulched around the base of the 3 mulberry and 1 mandarin tree with wood chips from tree prunings we made with our palm frond shredder.

    Purchases -
    - Yay we purchased a 20 tonne hydraulic wood splitter on eBay on a clearance delivered for $868.22 saving $730.78 over normal prices. It will be so much easier and quicker to split ironbark firewood over doing it with a splitting ax :).
    - Purchased a 2.5 HP electric air compressor also on clearance on eBay for $163.87 delivered saving $253.13 over usual prices. Our little battery powered one which is none too efficient finally gave up and it only pumped tyres up to 35 PSI and our trailer tyres are 50 PSI and AWD tyres are 45 PSI. The new air compressor will pump tyres up so much faster.
    - Purchased a years supply of cat worming tablets and flea and tick treatment using discount coupons on eBay saving $21.11 on usual prices.
    - On a 50% off clearance at IGA we purchased 2 x 6pk of hotdog rolls, 2 x 6 pk of wholemeal dinner rolls and 2 packets of hamburger rolls saving $9.30 on usual prices.
    - Using our supermarket rewards card 4c off per litre and timing our fuel purchases for the lowest fuel prices we filled up 5 jerry cans of fuel saving $16.34 on the higher prices.

    Hope everyone has had a good week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, So sorry for my slow reply this week! The week has flown by and been quite hectic.
      We are so lucky that Luke could use the farm Bobcat. It is shared by many but a couple of hours of this gets so much work done. I love it! I never thought I could love a tractor!
      We have had i cold too and many frosts. But you win at -5! This is when we test our fire, insulation etc as you say and I am glad it is all helping at your place.
      I must make a cheesecake. I love them! All your cooking sounds beautiful. You surprise me so often with what you get on eBay! I am telling Andy about your log splitter and the price. He is clearly keen to get a log splitter. We do have a lot of wood we could use if it could be split. We have a lot of wood full stop and still two huge dead trees to cut up and two huge gums that are too close to the house coming down.
      On the subject of Ebay now I will have to look at animal products since we have the puppy and I wouldnt have thought of it but for you!
      I hope this week has been going equally well for you. Really busy too for us but productive. We have had sunny days mostly but that makes for the really cold nights! The fire is never allowed to go out! We are both experiencing our fist winters in our new places. Each new month brings new discoveries. But I am liking winter overall.
      With much love

  17. Dear Annabel,
    It is so lovely seeing Blossom do just what her name suggests! Did your mum make the knitwear I see on your lambs at times? It is so ingenious of you making the bottle bags.
    How exciting having your orchard. When you first wanted to move to the country, I envisioned an orchard and kitchen garden and animals frolicking and here now they are a reality for you. 😍

    I did not get as much achieved as last week but did scrub the rangehood and oven which were way overdue! Bicarb and vinegar and washing soda. Had a few appointments which chop up the days I think and a flu shot which then put me behind (lethargic, aches) and a whole day out seeing the specialist yesterday. Hoping to get a more productive week in next week.

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      Thank you! Well I am certainly thinking of knitting lamb coats. I could get Mum on board maybe! These were just dog ones from the cheap shop but they worked. Blossom has been wearing two layers of them as it was so cold. She is in the paddock now but with her two jumpers on! The feeding bags have really helped me a lot. I need to make some more. As I have time I will make heaps and keep them on hand.
      I steamed cleaned my oven yesterday. Gosh it gets grubby.
      You have had a very late flu shot. There is so much flu around. We know someone in hospital now (someone in 20s too) so ill. I hope everything was good with your specialist appointment.
      I am sorry to take so long to reply Kaye. Finally here I am almost at Friday again! Well it has been busier than ever and the week has gone so fast. So I hope it was good for you! With much love, Annabelxxx

  18. Such good news about the little lamb! I am also envious of you with enough land for a whole orchard! Mind you, my little block keeps me and the neighbourhood in fruit- especially lemons! I can't wait to see the puppy!

    1. Earthmotherwithin it sounds like you make very good use of your land. I think it can be done and it is such a good idea. We are going well with our puppy and it is almost Friday again so I will organise my photos! It has been a really busy week! xxx

  19. I juste realized your post said July. It is June here. Nancy

    1. Thank you Nancy I corrected it right away. Yay I have a spare month! xxx

  20. You are an amazing woman. You get so much accomplished in your days! I love that you made those bags to feed the baby lambs.You should sell those. I bet other people would love to have those to hold the bottles. Very creative of you. Great post.

    1. Dear Dots, Thank you! I thought if many people feed multiple lambs then yes the feeders could be handy. I would love to know how many people have bottle raised lambs? In the country I guess it could be a fair few.
      I hope you have had a good week! It is almost Friday again! With much love

  21. Dear Annabel, what a fantastic week for you. Those fruit trees are going to be so great and I agree that they are such a fantastic gift. And oh my goodness M and I enjoyed the lamb photos. What a genius thought of yours to make the bags - we are storing that idea for future. What a clever calf Lattie is. Blossom is so darling. I love that you have little bells on the lambs necks. I look forward to seeing your pup. I have had a very productive week. I purchased a Ambiano vacuum food sealer from Aldi some time ago with the intention of vac packing food for our upcoming driving holiday. For one reason or another I hadn't got around to using it and our trip is coming up fast. Well this week I pretty much have all our snacks and most meals done. It feels so good. I had one day of just standing in the kitchen and it sure paid off. The machine is easy to use and will be very handy for future camping trips too. Today my husband and I went over the ute contents and now we have a week's grace to finalise any over looked things. I was also able to make up 9 "special" dishcloths made from flanelette purchased half price at Spotlight. Some of these are for a friend's 80th birthday (he loves my dishcloths, he shares them with his brother, they go on trips together and he says they have just about cleaned the country with them as they re-clean any motel room they stay in as they were both cleaners when younger and obviously don't like the standard of some rooms, lol, isnt that fantastic) and some as a gift for friends we are staying with one night of our trip. Have a great weekend everyone, love Clare

    1. Hi Clare, I did go back to Goodwill and get that decanter :). Just wanted you to know :)
      Mary in SD

    2. Dear Clare, I was given a vac sealer for Christmas and I was so pleased. But like you I kept it in the box! haha! When I did finally read the instructions I found it so easy and got going! Well I love it. I used it first on all the dried fruit I did. Now I love it.
      I agree the dish cloths are a great gift! How exciting for you to be planing your trip! Have a great week! With love

    3. Hi Mary B, I am so pleased for you, anything you put in their will look good. Thanks for letting me know. Hope you have a great week. Clare

      Dear Annabel, The more I use the vac sealer the more possibilities occur to me. Your dried fruit is a fantastic idea - so good to be able to make lttle snack packs. Love Clare

  22. You are an incredible woman! And your entire family certainly has their act together.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment Joy! Have a wonderful new week! xxx

  23. Annabel, I just love the gifts your dad gives! So very practical and they always suit you perfectly. He must love seeing how you and Andy have transformed your place in such a short space of time. Your animals are very lucky to be in your care, I'm so pleased you managed to sew something to make life a bit easier!

    As always, I'm sure the girls were pleased to see you with your lovely baking and new pillowcases.

    I finally made your gingerbread, it turned out beautifully! I made it both gluten free and with wheat flour, and my kids thought it was Christmas. Genuinely, because I only ever make shaped biscuits at Christmas as I find them too fiddly and lose patience lol. But your recipe didn't fall apart like others I've tried. So they will make a more regular appearance now.

    We were given a box of meat from a family nearby who could not fit any more in their freezer. It is beautiful, and there was so much. Beef mince, sausages, roasts, schnitzel and a turkey. They thought nothing of it, as they had already filled two freezers, but I was blown away. Especially as many of the cuts I would not buy due to how expensive they are. So we were very lucky and grateful.

    I bought cooking chocolate for $1 a block, so our baking has been a bit fancier this week lol. I have also baked all of our bread for over a week. I have a breadmaker, so it is really easy. I put it on over night, and bake two each day as well. It is only a bit cheaper than buying the cheapest bread at the supermarket, but I think we go through around 14 loaves of bread a week, so that is a significant number of plastic bags we are not using which I'm happy about. Ultimately, I plan to have some stored in the freezer, but this week I just kept up with demand!

    Thanks for the Tuesday post, it's so nice to see what people are making.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend,

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, I am glad you liked that recipe. This is what I have been using to make the flower and bunny biscuits also. I think it all depends too on the temperature i.e. how much better etc and how runny the honey is too... as long as you get a good smooth ply doh consistency and flour the board etc it is a dream to work with. I havent even made it gluten free yet so now I better then I can have some again!
      The other recipe I have the rolls out in shapes well is the Vanilla Shortbread. Also not crumbly.
      That is incredible about the meat! Meat is very expensive here. You can make so many meals just from a turkey! No doubt you will end up with broth too. That is amazing.
      I feel your bread will be more nutritious that the store bought. There are things you can add too as you feel like and anyway fresh and the smell of bread is so beautiful.
      Thank you for being in the Tuesday post! I am amazed what you produce and you get a lot done each week with baking, gardening, knitting and everything else!
      I hope you have a lovely Sunday and new week! With love

  24. Replies
    1. Thank you Belinda! I think so too! Now we also have a puppy! xxx

  25. A dog will be a great addition. What kind? We have an Australian cattle dog/Shepard mix and she is a great dog. Great with kids but lets us know when anyone is approaching. The bottle bags were a great idea. You could probably make some money selling them online. Your parsley is amazing. Mine is doing really well and I have been drying it for use this winter.

    1. Dear Making cents of it all, Your dog would be great. I agree about the security. They are smart and hear everything. When we sleep they are listening! Ours is a kelpie (probably cross) and the Mother is a wonderful dog so good with the girls (the Granddaughters) so far we are going well!
      I will be collecting lots of parsley seed sometime! I use it a lot can can give away big bunches of it. It is good to try it too. I hope you have had a good new week! Hectic here hence slow reply sorry! With love

  26. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds

    Well Blossom has certainly come along way since you first laid eyes on such a sweet little lamb.

    Your invention looks genius. Laffie has been beaten...yay Your animals stories are just so funny. Your animals are so spoilt.

    Here it has been rather chilly at night but the days out in the sun have been glorious. I have been getting the washing dry outside, whilst taking time to garden and at night just putting a few things in the dryer to warm the house up. Pumpkin soup has been made and eaten, so more to make again soon.

    School holidays start at the end of this week so I am busy preparing things to do for then. We have DD9's best friend coming to stay for the first few days and her mother and siblings staying in the next suburbs but we have a few plans in place for dinners, lunches and get togethers.

    I have shopped a few sales and got a few things for Christmas and the gift box. I am madly hand sewing the quilt and a pillow that I have just finished before I move onto anything else.

    Hope everyone is safe and well
    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, I cant wait to see your next quilt and pillow. DD will be so excited for the school holidays with these lovely plans. They are a good age. We used to make pancakes and cup cakes and things and do crafts, girls this age are so keen on everything you do!
      Thank you re the animals. They sure have added to life and now we have our puppy!
      It is cold here at night. Your drying system is good too. I didnt have a drier until living here but is is a saviour sometimes and I do what you are doing... i.e. this afternoon is going to be sunny so I line dry and they get almost dry so last few minutes in drier... and it warms up the house!
      Sorry it is almost Friday again before my reply! With much love

  27. I just love your adventures on the farm! Such a cute lamb baby too - so glad she got better. You have your hands full, and I know you are loving every moment of it!!


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