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 27 June 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 28th June, 2019.

This week went really fast and was super busy!  But it was productive with lots to be thankful for.
First of all on Friday we got our puppy!  Dad said to get a dog. I was thinking this. Rosanne confirmed it.   And there were farm puppies.  Lucy's family adopted a dog that wasn't very wanted or loved when Harper fell in love (and I mean LOVE) with this dog a farm worker had.  Their love become so obvious in the end the worker said "take the dog!" and so they had an instant dog.  I was very cautious. You do not trust an unknown dog with children.  However it turned out that Kelly was the most patient loving dog ever.  She became a family member in a day.
When the girls wake from a sleep they say "where is Kelly?" and Kelly turned out to be the most excellent working dog and helps Kato during the day. She is the hardest worker ever.
However one day I asked if they realised Kelly was pregnant?  No apparently they did not.  I told the girls "You are getting puppies!!" and they were dancing around saying "yippee yippee" while Mum and Dad looked shocked.  I predicted the puppies would be born on Andy's birthday.  and they were born the evening before!!  It was pretty exciting!
And NINE puppies were born!   So one dog turned into TEN! (sorry to everyone who already knows this story!)

You can see how much Harper loves this dog and it loves her back.  Scarlett loves her too!

From the litter we chose a girl and one that was less mad keen on chasing sheep.

We chose this little one and named her Scout.

Well, she has been so good and we just love her!!  We are in a little routine now and she is happy and we are happy!

Meanwhile the older lambs are almost ready to wean.  The middle lambs including Jellybean are doing well.  And Blossom, the baby is going along well too.  I managed to get a photo of them all sun baking after being fed with smug and happy looks on their faces.  Blossom at the end is the funniest of them all! haha!

Some of the ways we build up our home, preparedness and pantry and saved money included:

Dad had given us a leg of venison. I roasted one half and it was beautiful.  I am now slicing it for many meals.

I made a few dozen man sized pasties. These fed everyone plus gave me many freezer meals. They are rustic but taste good!

A couple of days later I realised oops I have a whole packet of puff pastry left over in the fridge.  I was inspired by Mel S and Wendy to made trays of pinwheels with cheese, bacon and tomato paste.   Again they fed everyone!

I was sewing lots of custom made door snakes for Lucy's house. She has beautiful old fashioned french doors but they leak a lot of air.   And it is really cold. So I made eight to fit just right.

Then I went on and made four wheat heat packs for the girls... same reason... it is really cold down at their farm!

Speaking of cold, we had several severe frosts.  We have some garden damage from this.  But we are learning this is our first winter here after all.

I picked more broccoli from our garden to go with our meals.

We planted three more fruit trees.  With all the trees we planted we still needed an apricot and an orange. I added another lemon.  They are all in with tree guards around them.  Now we have an orchard of twenty fruit trees!   I am so thrilled about this as it was a major goal.

I was able to give eggs as a gift of help.
I made a big batch of pumpkin soup for us and also as a gift of help.

Tomorrow we are off to see the girls and I can't go without cakes.  I used up the last of my little decorations on this lot.

So that about sums up my week.  Of course a normal week involves all the usual cooking, cleaning, washing, family Birthdays, shopping and so on.  It is so much!  People say "oh what do you do with yourself?" as if surely I must lay in bed all day dying of boredom.   This is why it is good to review your days and week.  We have a good answer full of industry and productivity!   I have a fair idea of how much I saved.  I keep track of things we added to the pantry, freezer... how we are tracking at being more self sufficient and more prepared.  We are making hay while the sun shines!  

How did you build up your home this week?   I hope it was full of opportunity for you! xxx


  1. Oh my goodness - children and baby animals! I just love all the pictures and Scout looks like a sweetie.
    Sounds like a great and busy week.

    1. Thanks Cheryl. I hope you have a lovely weekend! I am hoping we have rain coming and I can have a quieter couple of days! xxx

  2. Annabel, you are speaking of severe frosts and we are in the dog days of summer. The forecast is for it to get hotter over the next few days. I like the idea of making foodie pinwheels, I have some puff pastry in the freezer that I could use to make them. You could really come up with several combinations for the filling. Your girls are beautiful and I'm glad your puppy is settling in nicely at your farm. I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Patsi, Yes pinwheels are great to use up all kinds of things. We are hoping for rain. Frost is damaging but then so is the heat! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  3. I love your little dog. What a sweet face! Of course the girls are in their element too. What little sweethearts they are!
    If your daughter is really cold in her house you might try this trick: get some bubble wrap and cut it to the size of the glass in the door. Wet the flat side with water, wet the glass door and 'stick' the bubble wrap to the door, flat side to the glass. This will act as an insulation layer -and will remove easily when the winter is over. I am about to do this to couple of windows that I haven't got curtains for as yet.

    1. Dear Earthmother, Thank you for the idea. There are a lot of windows in this house. I took the door snakes down today and they all fit perfectly. I think in summer they will also help keep the bugs out. Added bonus. Our little Scout is being so very good. We love her. We saw the others and the Mum Kelly today. Gosh she is good. For your curtains... a quilt can make a wonderful winter curtain. I just read a magazine that featured a door quilt... going back to the old days were are and a good idea too! With love

  4. Dear Annabel , so much to read about in your busy productive life! I thoroughly enjoyed this post and Your granddaughters are so sweet with their dog .
    Your orphans are thriving with love and care and how sweet they look taking in the sunlight and each other’s closeness . I can just picture everything just not the dining of work that goes into all that 😊
    My week has been here and there helping family and keeping my own home up and running with meals , washing and the usual daily basics . My mother-in-law has been in hospital several days and hopefully comes home today , so far so good . The hope is this continues .
    I’m aware I need to skdiblook after myself and have managed to snatch quiet times plus exercise at the pool and dance classes . With crocheting in between .
    Have a beautiful weekend everyone , with love ,
    Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      You are spot on that we need to look after ourselves as we look after everyone else and worry about everyone. I heard about this middle stage where your kids are having kids and they need help and your parents are getting older and they need help. All at once! So I do hope your MIL is doing well and you can get some quiet time over the weekend. I am glad you have been able to go to the pool and dance classes (plus crochet) these are a bi help for time out. Sleep is big too. We need plenty. Gosh I need a lot of sleep at times. Be like the little lambs in the sunshine. They are so funny. Chilling out in the sun! They have it made and they know it lol
      With much love

  5. Those darling grandgirls are growing up so fast! I love that they are outside playing in the dirt. Farm girls for sure! I am happy that you have a dog that you trust and love. I have many of the same reservations about dogs.

    I saw a deal on a cordless rechargeable tree trimmer saw. All our trees needed a trim so we purchased it with the understanding that if my husband did not like it we would return it. It came and he assembled it. This morning he said he was going out to try it out and trimmed every tree in our 1 acre yard in only about 90 minutes! No more dragging cords all over the yard which was such a pain. I am going to put the old trimmer that has to be plugged in on Facebook marketplace and sell it. Hopefully we can get near what we paid for the new one since it was such a great deal.

    We have lots of beautiful green tomatoes on our plants. We are so looking forward to homegrown tomatoes. Your broccoli must be wonderful.

    Here is a funny essential oil story. I had a cramp in my shoulder so I tested for holding the bottle of Hopewell Relax in the hand on that side to relax my shoulder but I kept dropping it because it was relaxing my hand. After I figured it out it was hilarious.

    Have a wonderful visit with the girls and a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, You will like this... the other day I was helping Harper put her boots on. She said they dont fit anymore. She fiddled around. I took the boots off and shook them out. They didnt fit as they each had about a pound of dirt in them. Then we started again. I could have started a garden with what came out of those boots!
      Sounds like a very good investment in the tree trimmer. And very interesting about the oil test and the relax blend. I didnt know this and it sounds like relax really works! haha!
      I hope your new week will be good! With much love

    2. Oh I love the dirt in the boots!

      We sold our old trimmer that had to be plugged in for only $8 less than what we paid for the new one so that made me very happy!

  6. Annabel that photo of Harper and her Kelly, sitting on the dirt pile, is what farm dreams are made of. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Little Scout is such a pretty little girl. She is going to grow into the most wonderful pet. She will be a wonderful protector for the menagerie of animals at your place.
    Bluey picked up a large ham on the bone that had been $56 and was marked down to $26. He cut it up and vacuum bagged it before putting in the freezer. There is so much ham!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We love good ham and this one is definitely good. Bluey made old fashioned ham steaks with pineapple one night. It took me back to my childhood.
    I made 2 dozen scones to take with me to my Spinners and Weavers group. The ladies and gents have been so wonderful in helping me learn this craft and I wanted to thank them. I also took along some butter, rosella jam and passionfruit lime butter I had made. It was my little thank you to them all and they were most appreciated.
    Bluey made me a Lazy Kate, which is a simple device you need to ply your spun yarn. I have used it already and it is wonderful. This is my first piece of spinning paraphernalia. I have much more to add but will do it as I can afford it. Thankfully the Club is happy to loan out spinning wheels until I get my own.
    Today there is banana cake in the oven and a chicken casserole in the slow cooker. I purchased some tea towels from Aldi and plan to add some embroidery to these. These tea towels will be for me.
    Have a wonderful weekend and give the puppy and baby animals a pat from me.
    Life is windy get the clothes dry good.

    1. Dear Jane, Thank you re the girls and Scout. So far so good we are getting on so well.
      That was a great deal on the huge ham! I love to bake a ham now. I never used to do this now I do it every time. Then like you I love ham and pineapple, ham and eggs... quiche, fried rice... so many options. Yum.
      Your scones looks wonderful. I feel scones are something that are always a huge hit with visitors or to take somewhere. Especially as you did also taking jam!
      I saw your spinning gadget to ply your wool That will be great for two or three ply. Very good. Quite likely Bluey will end up with orders from others in the group!
      It has been windy here too but also raining. But that is good for us. Maybe less wind!
      Have a very good new week. We have hit mid year now! With much love,

  7. Annabel who ever said you would be bored when you retire or are staying at home had it totally wrong. Throw in owning a property with animals, gardens and fruit trees and there is never any down time to maintain it all :). Like you we are always on the go. Scout is beautiful as are your fast growing little lambs and oh I am envious of all your fruit trees you have planted too, but we will soon be building our stock of fruit trees as well so we will have a supply of fruit all year round hopefully.

    Annabel with your garden to protect them from frost you many need a garden enclosure like ours with shade cloth over the top to stop the frost dropping on your gardens. We are using 50% shade cloth as heat is horrendous here in summer and it will also protect the gardens from frosts in winter too. Some of those trees you have with straightish trunks could be used for your posts (1/3rd in the ground and 2/3rds above)in height and rammed in with earth with a post hole crow bar.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $813.34 in savings last week :).

    In the gardens -
    - We added lime to 4 of the garden beds and watered it in.
    - Added fertiliser around the mandarin tree and watered it in.
    - We have now put up all of the galvanised pipe roof framework on our garden enclosure and wired on heavy duty chicken wire on the top ready for the shade cloth to go on. We figure by digging the post holes, putting the posts up and firming them in, attaching the pipe roof framework and heavy duty chicken wire we have saved ourselves so far $796.84 over hiring a handyman for 8 hours to do this for us.

    So far we have only spent $3.66 on building the 10 x 2.2 metre garden enclosure by using all recycled materials. We are chuffed with the results so far.

    Finances -
    - By being super frugal with our budget I managed to replace the funds I used to purchase this laptop :).
    - Listed 10 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $16.50 on usual prices.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Hope everyone else had a wonderful week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, We have shade cloth planned before summer for over the herb and veggie area. We had some serious burn issues... but I didn't think of it in terms of frost. I definitely need to extend these plans for over more of the flower garden too.
      Like you we just are busy and cant imagine what people are talking about when they seem to wonder what we do. We have big goals and like things to happen rather than sit around talking about them. It has been hard work. I am not much on wasting time either. I mentioned the orchard to someone this week and clearly they saw no need for fruit trees and thought the whole concept ridiculous. I just didnt bother going any further. I am glad to have you here and others who get it!
      Your garden enclosure sounds wonderful. $3.66! I cant wait to see this all when it is full and producing!
      Very nice to have a new laptop. I am getting a new iPad. I will try the same to cover the cost. We are blessed with meat and veggies and eggs so I can cut grocery costs and have a cook up.
      It is so good to hear of your continued progress. Remembering your old veggie garden I am excited of the work done to get to the stage of you picking veggies again. I am glad you have so many materials to re cycle there. They look better too. Give me vintage and old things anyway. Wood especially looks wonderful.
      Have a good weekend! With love

  8. Oh! Scout is precious! I hope she brings you as much joy as my dogs being to me :) As always you have had such a productive week! I'll be happy when I'm done filling in at work and I can be home to get more done :)

    1. Thank you Jenn! It sounds like you are having a really busy time but I hope it is worth it and gives you extra money to work with! But I hope you get some home time too! xxx

  9. Dear Annabel, Congratulations on your new family member, Scout looks gorgeous. We love your group photo - how happy your well fed, looked after lambs and Lattie look, Blossom - classic - great photo. This week we have been working towards our holiday preparations as we drive out soon. I am so happy as we prepared a good amount of food, it all fits in our freezer on the ute and it will save us so much money and be so lovely to grab a tuna casseroleand a rice and just heat. Now we are busy cleaning as we want to come home to a clean organised house. Happy weekend everyone, love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, You are just like me... I love to walk back in the house after being away and everything looks clean and lovely! I basically mop myself out the door when we leave! Have a beautiful time! I hope you have good fun and good finds!
      Thank you re the lambs. Blossoms face cracks me up. They all look content and like they are on holiday too!
      I cant wait to hear about your trip! Enjoy! With love

  10. What a beautiful week. I am very envious of your orchard. I have mine in huge big pots at the moment, Wayne tells me he'll need a front end loader and a semi-trailer to move them, but he'll do it for me. Not a lot of feathering done here, although I have been going through cupboards (again) and donating or sharing excess. I've been making condolence thank-you cards and sending them off when I get a few minutes. And making lists - furniture we'll need, garden supplies we'll need, maintenance things that will need to be done, kitchen and bathroom things we'll need etc. etc. etc. I like to be prepared, and we will be! We'll be able to move in a heartbeat once our dream is realised. We've had a couple of frosts too - I have lots of very old sheets I use to cover the garden on frosty nights. Sourced from op shops most of them, I just run out about 4pm when it starts to get cool and drape them over the garden, plop on some rocks to hold them down. Then once the sun is up next day I run out again and take them all off, and hang them on the line or the verandah to dry, ready for the next night. Backyard must look odd to the neighbours but they have saved lots of plants over the years. Getting ready for visitors from Canada, can't wait! Have a lovely weekend, we're due more rain (yay!) and cold, I hope your new tanks are filling up quickly.

    1. Dear Cath, You sound like you are doing well. I am so pleased to hear your dream is still strong and you are planning and getting ready. This is faith... going ahead with plans however we can during the waiting period. We did this. Things were not certain or set and I was packing. The sheets are good and useful in the heat of summer also. I need more. I had things sunburned first now frost bitten!
      It will be so exciting for you when you get your orchard all planted and in the ground. Meantime pots are good. There are so many things you can do to be ready to move. We hit the ground running here and really when I think this time last year we didnt even know for sure we were moving well it is just amazing how fast things can unfold! Enjoy your visitors! With love,

    2. Annibel, your photos make me smile and smile. Those adorable granddaughters, the lambs and your new pup! And, as always, you keep inspiring us to be frugal and more self-sufficient. THANK YOU so much for taking time out of your busy life to bless us all with your regular postings!

    3. Dear Pam, Thank you so much! We have a couple of bluebirds from Texas! I feel Texas sounds a lot like Australia in many ways.
      I am glad to hear you feel inspired to be frugal and more self sufficient. Each week we strive for both. Little by little we are getting there. I keep adding something, the rain water tanks and the fruit trees most recently. I am so pleased! have a wonderful new week! xxx

  11. Annabel, you are a marvel! Love to read your posts. Thinking...what will she add this time? Scout is a nice looking dog. Big paws, I noticed on her. She'll get to be a pretty big girl. Always so much you get done in a day. I wish I were that active!!

    1. Dear Dots, Thank you! I wonder what we will add next!? Even I am not sure!
      I have to pace my day and work to a list. Knowing my goals for the week helps me too. I join in a lot of challenges. However I am slowed up with a cold this weekend! Have a good new week. With love

  12. Its just great having a busy week with family and hobbies. Esp having new puppies around. Kids love them. Just love reading your blog.

    1. Thanks so much Susan. Kids do love animals. The girls also have kittens and Guinea Fowl as well as puppies too. It is always interesting that is for sure!
      Thank you for your kind comment! xxx

  13. The picture of Scout looking up at Harper just melts my ❤️ heart. And Kelly with her precious. What wonderful lives they have together. Thank you for showing us your herd and how they have grown....blissfully sunning themselves :). Those scrolls look so good! Hope you have a wonderful weekend keeping warm. I'm making some golden syrup right now on the stove so I can make your golden syrup pudding recipe. Mike is sick and, even tho it's hot outside, I'm hoping this will make him feel loved. Bless you!!

    1. Mary I have never made golden syrup from scratch. I better try, Cath told me about it. I hope the pudding turned out well. We love that pudding. I might make it this week since it is so cold it would be extra good. I haven't tried it with gf flour though. If you have any left look up Anzac Biscuits, they are really good. I hope you have a good new week! With much love

  14. I used to get rather miffed at being asked by working acquaintances "Oh...Are you still just at home?" as though being at home meant soap operas and bon bons. So John used to call home and if a female co-worker was about he'd say, "What do you mean you're sitting with your feet up eating bon bons?" lol In truth when he called home it was to tell me to stop whatever I was involved in doing and take a rest because he knew I'd just keep on going.
    I read over my June goals early last week and set up my July goals. Being aware of what I'd meant to do made me aware of what jobs I might tackle and finish the month off a little bigger than it had looked like I might. So I did some extra cleaning and some maintenance work on the house and shed and repotted some house plants that needed breathing space and cleaned house and...There's always an 'and' isn't there? Always more to do and be done. I am never bored being 'just at home'! Terri

    1. Dear Terri,
      I think it is a reflection on what others do when at home not what we do. We treat it as a proper job. It is very profitable in many ways when treated as a proper job! Yes there is always a lot to do. I love having a good answer now though when asked what I have been doing as I used to go kind of blank!
      I hope you have a good new week! With love

  15. Oh my gosh, scout is so lovely! And the bond between Harper and Kelly is so obvious, just from a photo! How beautiful.

    I am so pleased you have added so much to your Orchard! That alone is preparing for the future, and for generations beyond! It's one of the reasons I'm slowly building an Orchard of my own.

    I seem to say this every week, but I really have had one of the busiest weeks on record. By your example, you have encouraged me, beyond what I thought I was capable of, to get motivated and get going!

    I was gifted some Tamarillo's (Tree Tomato's) this week, I've never tasted them let alone cook with them, and I found them to be quite delicious. They can be used as a savoury or a sweet, so I ended up googling a recipe and making Tamarillo Chutney with them. I loved them so much I have decided to plant a tree in my Orchard when I can get my hands on one!

    I also had a glut of homegrown passionfruit's piling up, so I made some passionfruit curd (which went into a cake) and some passionfruit syrup for cordial.

    I collected bags and bags of fallen leaves from a local park last weekend to use as material for some new garden beds in the Orchard. I had planned to go to a friends farm to collect manure too, but it has poured rain all week here, and it was too wet to go, I'll get out there when it dries up a little.

    I started a new sewing project this week, I am teaching myself how to patchwork, and when I have a big enough piece, I aim to line it, and sew bright dust covers for my overlocker and sewing machine! I hope that works, as I'm pretty much self taught LOL

    And of course as you say, this is just the extra stuff we do in and around our regular 'house' work. There's cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing, dusting, vacuuming, menu planning, shopping, gardening, bill paying, taxi-ing kids around etc etc etc. It gets my back up a little when I get silence (AKA judgemental thoughts) when I say I only "work" one day a week (at paid employment) I sometimes think if people had spy cameras on me and watched what I did all day, they would be amazed and exhausted! I'm NEVER bored at home, there is ALWAYS something to do, in fact my to do list is overwhelming, there just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes!

    Anyway, I've prattled on too long, time to get up and do some work!

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you this is such a nice comment. I am so glad for you that your feel your productivity has increased so much! That is fantastic. I have never tasted tamarillos either. I have wondered what they are used for. This is very interesting!
      I think it is great to collect the leaves plus when you get to the farm for manure. All these things added together will fill up your garden beds. If you know anyone bagging up autumn leaves ask them to save them for you. It will make fertile soil!
      The patchwork will be wonderful. You tube is amazing for any lessons or techniques you are wanting to learn. I love that we can learn so much for free. I like the history of patchwork i.e. the fact that tiny scraps were recycled to make something unique and beautiful. It is the ultimate recycling really. It always makes me thing of how women will take what they have and make it into something beautiful.
      Yes... the usual daily and weekly stuff we dont even mention but it is a lot! Anything extra is an achievement in itself! I very often just run out of day especially now as it is dark around 5 to 5 30. In summer it might not get dark till 9 pm. These shorter days do mean earlier nights and more crochet in the evening. I am liking this!
      Cheryl the mere act of reviewing our week, planing the next one, making some lists and setting goals really makes thing happen in the week. I try to spend an hour or two on a Sunday looking at the week, any appointments or birthdays etc...then plan it. Overall I think this ends up saving me time and money. Then I really like to get the week off to a good start and tick off a few goals and jobs on a Monday! Laine used to say to get the handmaidens all working. This is good, everything is happening at once and we speed along!
      I hope the new week will be good for you. Mine is lining up to be busy so I have had a quieter weekend catching up on odds and ends! With love,

  16. Scarlett and Harper are adorable. They are living the good life for sure - happy, healthy and loved! It’s so good they are growing up around animals and country life 😊


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