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, 18 July 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 19th July, 2019.

It has been a really good week and it feels like longer than a week since last Friday!  Back then one of my goals was to get more chickens as my five eggs a day is no longer anywhere near enough.
I had to try a few different things but in the end Facebook Buy, Swap and Sell worked for me and I ended up going on two long drives to pick up new chickens.
As this took me to two different towns I went to the op shops in each and the Supermarkets in each to pick up the specials.  Before going anywhere I look up the catalogue specials for whatever supermarket they have and make a list.  Even though they are in the country the small towns are mostly affiliated with a bigger group and they have the same specials as the city stores. These can be good.  And I also look up to see if these towns have op shops!

The first farm I went to was really fun.  It was just full of all kinds of chickens.  It reminded me of Greenacres the TV show.  I went for six and I came home with ten.  (This is known as Chicken Maths) I got six regular laying chickens and then I had to have four beautiful black ones.  They are younger so I have to feed them up for a while.

Next I had another drive to get just one Wyandotte and I did it so I could order a few more now that I found a breeder.  I have always wanted these!

At the end of all of this I had stocked up my pantry,  found new op shops and now I have twenty chooks!

This is my fanciest chicken ever. She needs a name...

So soon I should have eleven or twelve eggs a day then later I should have sixteen.  Four of my chooks are bantams.  Their purpose is mainly to hatch eggs and look after chickens down the track.  Lucy and her husband have huge chocolate brown hens and a rooster.  So my bantams hopefully will hatch some of these!

My hens should give me plenty of eggs for us, enough to supply Lucy's family until their own hens lay and Mum and Dad (Chloe keeps her own chickens) and plenty for gifts and to barter with.  I am finding eggs are one of my main barter items.  Eggs, bunches of Bay Leaves and Parsley and gum nuts.  I seem to be able to do all sorts of deals with these.  I forgot to add... Scout just loves eggs.  When I cook eggs for us I cook her one too.

During the week we were cleaning up after a storm.  There were three big trees/branches over fences.  So we have more firewood to stack and more bonfires to burn!

I got stuck into some organising projects.  Firstly I tackled the laundry cupboards.  Now I have space to get a bit further ahead with laundry detergents etc.

Next I attacked the freezers.  This was a big job as we had added a chest freezer and as with chest freezers things got thrown in.   I have two fridges and one has an upright side freezer and one has freezer drawers at the bottom.   Between these now I have a drawer that is just ready to go emergency meals.  A draw that is fast and easy lunch options which is mainly for Andy and Luke.  I have meat, veggies and desert sections.  The chest freezer has giant chunks of venison at the bottom and baskets of bread on the top.  Now I know what I have and can find things!   I am really pleased!

In town I found a big selection of heavily marked down bakery items like cheese and bacon scrolls,  herbed focaccia and so on.  I filled a huge shopping bag for $10.   These all went into my easy lunches section in the freezer.  It was easily 30 lunches.

Also in town a shop had a stand out the front with everything for $2.  I looked but there were many things marked $49!   I think many people walked on by because it seemed the $2 sign was wrong, didn't apply to everything or something...   I went in to the store and asked if these expensive items were really $2?  The lady laughed and said yes they were having a big clean out.  So back I went.  I picked out two iPad/tablet cases made of leather in lovely colours marked $49 each.  Then I picked out other things that were good gifts... travel wallets, party times and more.  I spent $14 and I added up I had almost $300 in gifts for my gift cupboard!

We pruned the pear trees so we will be able to get nets over them later.  While in the orchard I closely looked at each fruit tree. They are all looking good with lots of buds!   It is so nice to be in the orchard. It is so nice to HAVE an orchard!  Each tree has a protective surround.  The calf and lambs walk around with me wanting to be patted.  It is so beautiful!

I made some bath soak for myself with some of my favourite essential oils.  Soaking in the bath is my relaxation!

All the laces were an op shop find!   I found a bag of meters and metres of laces and trims.

We used up more broccoli from the garden.

I made up a big batch of Wool Wash.  This is the most divine soap ever.   I use it to wash all my things like the quilt, woollen underlay, pillows, blankets, lounge throws and my jumpers, cardigans, scarves etc.   Everything comes up softer than soft.  For this reason it is perfect for baby clothes.  It also kills dust mites.  This is a beautiful gift too.

The recipe is easy.  It is a Jackie French recipe I have used for years.
4 cups of water,
4 cups of Lux flakes.  If not in Australia use a pure soap flake or grate a pure yellow soap.
1 cup methylated spirits,
1 tablespoon Eucalyptus oil.
Bring the water to the boil.  Stir in the flakes until smooth.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and pour into jars.

At first it will be a liquid and look like this...

(Sorry about the lighting it was late evening soap making!)
Oh... see the old pot?  I got that for $4 to be my soap and detergent making pot.

After about a day your Wool Wash will set.  Make sure your jars have lids so you can seal them up.

To use it dissolve one tablespoon in a jug of hot water then use it in your bucket or tub to hand wash. I use it in my top loader washing machine all the time.   The water can be warm or cold as long as it has been dissolved first that is all that matters.
Things that were scratchy will be soft.  They smell glorious.  It is honestly the most beautiful wool wash.

Next I made a similar recipe for fabric softener.  (There are the two on the right of the picture)
This is the same... you need a little bit and dissolve it in a jug then add to your wash.
The recipe is
4 cups hot water, 2 cups Lux flakes (or grated pure soap) 1 cup methylated spirits, 2 tablespoons Eucalyptus oil.   Dissolve Lux flakes in the hot water and add the other ingredients.  Put into bottles of jars.   Use two tablespoons in your wash.   This also smells beautiful.

In a way if you have never make soap this is a way to start.  These products are better than anything you can buy in the shops.  I have set two jars aside for friends I am swapping with.

I made two Tuna Mornay casseroles and two chocolate cakes.  One of each went to Chloe and Luke.

I sliced the chocolate cakes and put fresh strawberry jam in the middle.  This was delicious and kind of a cheats version of black forest cake (ish) and was a hit!

I mended a shirt for Andy.

I am really pleased with the week as organised freezers,  budding fruit trees and more chickens are all very good things.  And we had rain!

Setting goals as I plan my week on a Sunday really helps me.  It gives me things to keep in mind that I need to try and get done.  This made me try several ways to find chickens after asking everyone failed to produce any.  It made me go pick them up right away!  I know next week one of my gaols will be to set up lots of new nesting boxes and perches.

How did you get ahead, build up your pantry, save and build up your home this week?  I hope you had lots of good opportunities.

It has taken me ages to post this as we woke up in a blanket of fog.  When there is fog the internet is either really slow or doesn't work at all!  So after lunch the fog cleared a bit and now is my chance! xxx

Cookie could really use some healing prayers.  And Rachel could really do with some prayers also. Thank you!


  1. Everything looks wonderful as always, Annabel. Your beautiful black and white chicken's feathers look like flower petals! Perhaps that's a name to consider: Petals!!

    I'm so blessed - my niece brought me so much fresh fruit and vegetables and other than eating as is I'm putting on my thinking cap about how to not lose any. Have a good week, Annabel, and thank you for another wonderful post.

    1. Shirley, that’s a great idea for a name! When I first saw the photo, I was thinking Eliza, from My Fair Lady! It will be so fun to see what others come up with as suggestions for Annabel’s fancy new chicken.

    2. Shirley, I love that name!!! Petals! How adorable and so fitting!

    3. Dear Shirley, I think Petals is a lovely name! How wonderful of your niece to bring you fruit and veggies. I would use what needs using first. Some things last quite a while. Towards the end a big tray of roast veggies is very useful and can become soup, frittata, pizza and many things. What a blessing and I am sure you will make the most of all of it! What a nice niece you have too.
      Have a lovely Sunday and new week! With love,

  2. Wow, that will be a wonderful flock of chickens! I love the black and white one. I also love the way you are really revelling in your country lifestyle. DH is working on a rejuvenation project of a table we got at the tip shop.

    1. Dear Earthmotherwithin, The chickens have all settled in well and some are laying already! I love tip shops! How nice to get a table. Enjoy a lovely Sunday and good new week. It is sunny here today and the birds are going crazy. I am working on nesting boxes for the new girls! With love

  3. Thanks for sharing the recipe for the wool wash and fabric softener. I’m going to try both of them.

    1. You're welcome Cheryl. Everything comes up so soft, clean and fresh, I am sure you will be pleased! xxx

  4. Your chicken is so pretty..Clementine comes to mind for some reason.
    I do need to make a few more emergency meals. I have lasagna and turkey frozen but it's now to hot to make those up. I'll save those for later. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Dear Vickie, I like Clementine too! Thanks for the suggestion. Emergency meals are great. I need to make more also.I didnt actually have as many as I imagined. I saw your post about hot weather food. If I know the heat is coming I make up salads that keep like rice salad, salsa, potato salad... and add cold meats. We have cold meats and cheese, olives, salami, cherry tomatoes, little cucumbers and so on. I never use the oven in the heat.
      Another I do is wraps. We can go weeks like this since we get quite a lot of hot weather.
      Have a good weekend! With much love,

    2. Yes after all that husband grilled out. I think he will be willing to go with those salads and wraps like you said now. Even though the kitchen wasn't hot -I think he melted out there turning the porkchops and burgers. I made a nice salad to go with it. I love your suggestions!

  5. Annabel you have got so much accomplished and I will have to try your wool wash recipe. We do similarly living more rurally now is make a list of places to shop, specials to buy, and visit op shops as well. It is amazing what you can pick up from varying stores for such a low price in groceries and other items.

    We spent 3 days away from home this week once for church and two medical appointments for DH in a town around 60 odd kilometers away from home one way so a little less accomplished this week. These appointments are once every two weeks.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $41.68 last week.

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

    Purchases -
    - On specials we purchased 5 x 500g of frozen peas, corn and capsicum, mandarins, kiwi fruit and bananas saving $11.68 on usual prices.

    Finances and eBay listings -
    - We paid an extra month of mortgage payments off our home loan from a bonus pay I received saving interest and time on our loan. We have almost made double payments since the start of our loan in January :).
    - Other items purchased from my bonus pay were a few curtain rods, ends and curtain rod holders.
    - Listed 10 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    In the gardens -
    - Put all the drip irrigation frames for 10 garden beds together. We still have to link up the main watering pipes to each garden bed.
    - We reused 13mm pvc pipe, t-pieces, elbows and our drip irrigation pipe from our last gardens saving about $30 over buying more.
    - Both of us trench composted more vegetable/fruit peelings into another vegetable garden bed.

    I hope everyone had a wonderful week last week and will this week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, We have similar distances to deal with. The first trip I did was 50 ks (first town) then added on another 40... (chook farm) so then 90 home. The next trip was 60 ks each way. So like you I think of all I need and should pick up and make the trip worthwhile. I have lists, baskets, shopping bags and eski. Each day away also sets me back at home. Usually I try and keep it to one or two days a week and five to six days home. This week being away two full days slowed me down at home too. But I did get good specials and it is surprising! Like you said you find things in different places. Both towns had a big cheap shop. One of them even had chook food etc
      Iand I compared prices and it is MUCH cheaper! So good discovery!
      It was great to use the irrigation fittings from your last garden. You really have things coming a long. I think we will need a garden tour when this is all planted and up and running!
      I need to keep working on the soil in my veggie patch. I have added a lot of sheep mature and good soil from the sheep yards. It is good rich and dark but the weeds that come with it!! I have a lot of weeding to do.
      Have a great weekend. We both made more progress on our patches this week! With love

  6. Marguerite seems the perfect hen name. Elegant, and meaning pearl or petal,which her feathers look like.
    I will try woolwash making tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    1. That is a beautiful name and I love the meaning! I hope you like the wool wash. I am amazed how soft things become. The scent lingers too for a really long time. Have a lovely Sunday and new week! xxx

  7. Annabel, when I look at your new chicken, I think of a beautiful lace so I would probably name her "Lacy." You are making such good progress on your farm, I really enjoy reading about it. I'm in the process of reorganizing my freezer space as well and when finished will have one that is at the top of one of our refrigerators dedicated solely to freezer meals. I too am aiming for easy access that is well organized. In your soap recipes, both mention eucaylptus oil, is this eucalyptus essential oil?

    1. Dear Patsy, Lacy is the most voted for name! Thank you!
      It is regular pure Eucalyptus oil not essential oil. Here it comes in a reasonable sized bottle and isn't overly expensive. Often used for colds and lots of things. I hope you can get it there. An alternative would be lavender oil.
      Getting the freezer organised is so good. I can now see I have plenty of meat but could do with more ready to thaw meals. It is really helpful.
      Have a good new week! With love

    2. I thought of Lacey too!! The pattern of her feathers looks so much like beautiful, delicate lace

  8. Wow, what a week. Congrats on all the new chickens. I would name the pretty girl FANCY! She is a looker.
    That was a great deal to find on all the items for $2. Great time to stock up on gifts.
    Have a blessed week.

    1. Dear Cheryl, I love that expression, yes she is a looker! haha! I hope you are doing well and having a lovely weekend. Have a great new week too! with love

  9. Hi Annabel
    Wow, twenty chooks! You really are a farm girl now with all of your lovely farm animals! As soon as I saw the picture of your fancy black & white chicken I thought - Lacey, as her feathers look like lace to me. I must try your wool wash soon, it sounds wonderful. Do you know how much is recommended to be used for a front loader machine? And is the 2nd recipe a fabric softener or a wash liquid? I was confused as I wouldn’t have thought there would be soap in a softener. I have been enjoying lots of cooking this week, as I’m trying to replace more store bought things with homemade from scratch. I’ve also been working on sewing up some grocery bags for me to use. I’m excited to get them finished as all the others I’ve made have been gifts. Have a lovely weekend and enjoy your relaxing bath soak! Kelly xo

    1. Dear Kelly, I dot know with front loaders as they dont like suds so I would stick to hand washing I think. I hand wash a lot of my woollens. The second recipe is fabric softener. I would love to see your grocery bags! They would have been great gifts. I am thinking now to do produce bags i.e. for when picking up onions, carrots and so on for when they are weighed. All these things are so popular now so also god for gifts. Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Yes, I would like to make some produce bags too. They are on my long list of things I want to make! I think I have pics of some of the bags I made as gifts on my instagram account... I'll check and send you a message on insta so you can see. Kelly xo

  10. Congrats on you new chickens. Your black and white one is very pretty. Your weeks are always so busy. Greats finds on the $2 sale!
    Thank you for the wool wash recipe. I am wondering what is "methylated spirits"? I am wanting to try the recipe.

    1. Methylated spirits could be called Denatured alcohol, denatured rectified spirit. It is inexpensive and often used in window cleaning kind of products. I didnt know it had other names until I looked it up just then! I am hoping you can find it ok. xxx

  11. What a beautiful chicken! We had THREE 5 to 6 foot snakes in our house last weekend. Two of them had the most beautiful black and white pattern on it's underbelly. Sadly Hubby had to kill that one since we think it was the same one that came in twice. Our neighbor boy lent us his snake trap and we have not had anymore but three was enough!

    Dad was evaluated for Hospice and they said he did not need their care. Thanking God for that.

    Your orchard sounds like a great place to walk and relax for a bit. You will have so much lovely fruit. It is hard to imagine how short a time you have been on the farm and completely changed your lifestyle. We have stopped looking for another house. I finally realized that God has closed that door and yet we stand out side it and bang our head on it trying to get in. He knows and He cares for us so we will trust Him.

    Two days until we go to the lake house for two weeks. It is a great place to thrift shop and where we find good things that we need. We are also looking forward to rest and real time together without so much to do. We have the grass mowed and the neighbor boy will water for us. We just have to finish packing and go! I wish you could come by and sit on the deck overlooking the water and chat for a bit!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      Oh no about the snakes! I would be terrifies since our snakes are deadly. Can you identify where they got in? We can have no small hole. The rule is that if a mouse can get in a snake can get in. If a snake can get in a rat can get in. Sometimes finding the point of entry is exhausting but it has to be found. Often we use steel wool to plug up a little hole as a mouse cannot chew through that.
      I am glad of that for your Dad. They must think he is doing well which is wonderful.
      Lana maybe something will happen with the house. It is hard waiting though. Have a wonderful time at the lake house. It sound sos beautiful. It would be very good to have this relaxation and even thrift stores! With much love

  12. She's beautiful!!! I agree with Cheryl, Fancy or Fanny or my grandma's name: FloraBelle....or Patsy's Lacy🌸 🤪So many choices! Now to go read your post ;D
    Mary in sD

    1. Dear Mary,
      Well I called her Fancy girl! So you are basically right! Now I LOVE your Grandmas name. FloraBelle is just gorgeous. How amazing. My nana were Cora Jean and Ivy Marjory. Harper is Harper Patrica Ivy (Patricia being Mums name). I would love to use FloraBelle for my next calf (if a girl) provided you would see not insult and only a compliment in it. As it would be meant. Thank you Mary! Have a beautiful week! With love

    2. I would love that, Annabel :D How cool that Harper is named after her great and great-great Grandmas! I had a great-aunt Cora.

  13. ....or Dot for Wyandotte. Praying for the ladies who need prayers. Thank you for the lovely recipe for wool wash. I think I know what you mean about the wonder of being in the orchard with the Eden. I feel that way when I'm at our friend Diana's place. They've lived there for 44 years and have vegetable gardens, avocado trees, citrus trees, flowers, etc. So quiet and peaceful and full of life. I'm canning my first chicken today😲. I'm also trying to work up the courage to ask a neighbor down the street if she'd mind if I picked her apricots as they are all just falling to the ground ;*(. Of course, I'd share the jam I'd make with her.
    Have a great weekend, Annabel.

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you for the prayers. I think orchards are just beautiful. My Nan and Pa had a big old one. My brother and I wold sit in the old walnut tree. It was glorious. My Nan made things from all the fruit. Every Sunday the whole family gathered for lunch at Nan and Pas. So good!
      I really am hoping your neighbour was friendly and said yes and you got this apricots! I would ask also! I cant believe why anyone would not use them! Apricots are my husbands favourite. Jam, pie, crumble, cobbler... so much to do. Have a wonderful new week. With love

    2. I just kept thinking how you pick fruit you find along the roads and places, and screwed up my nerve to go knock and ask. They said, "Sure, take all you want."! So, I got about 8 lbs. and Mike and I made preserves. I took them a jar this morning ;). See, you really do have a lot of influence (positive) on your readers :). Love, Mary

    3. Yay!!! That is wonderful Mary! Ask and you shall receive!!! Now what I would do is write on next years calendar (I just make a note of the date you picked them and put it on the last page of my diary then put into my new diary when I get it) so that you remember to check next year and go ask! Because you made them preserves they will be sure to say yes! I am so glad to hear this!! xxx

    4. Thank you, Mary, for praying for those in great need. Both Cookie & I know that we are in the best place - in His hands. We are grateful!!
      - - Rachel

  14. Nme your chicken Lacey as the black and white chicken reminds me of black floral lace.... You had a very productive week. Thanks for the recipes for the wool wash and fabric softener.

    1. Thank you Tammy! I think Lacey has come out as the most popular name! Have a wonderful new week! xxx

  15. Love you post as always Annabel. I've always liked those black and white chickens, her feathers remind me of the boucle fabric of a classic Coco Chanel jacket, so I would name her Coco! I'm going to give your wool wash recipe a try and thanks for the warm weather food suggestions. It's so hot here I can't even THINK of what to make for dinner.

    1. Dear Tandi,
      I have always loved these chickens too. There is a similar one in brown I love also. So finally I have one! I so agree on the coco jacket! I have had so many beautiful suggestions that I have written them all down and I am going to use them all!
      We get long spells of heat in the summer. Usually we have a bit of warning and I get a whole heap of cold meats, often I bake a ham ahead and make rice salad and so on. This keeps us going for days with no cooking. Extra heat in the house is just the last thing we need. I make wraps with chicken, salad and tatziki dip. They are nice. I hope your heat leaves as it sounds extreme. I hear NY had 115 I think. I hope your new week is off to a good start! With love

  16. Dear Annabel, You are always busy but it does seem farm life has made you busier than ever. What a great bargain on those gifts and good on you for going in and asking...Just think what you'd have missed!

    I found a new recipe for bread machine and it turned out beautiful and good. I cooked chicken carcasses in the crock pot to make up a big batch of bone broth. My daughter has broken ribs and I thought this would be both a comfort food and a good source of calcium for her. I picked over the bones after making broth and had enough meat to make up a dozen chicken enchiladas. Like you we must drive an average of 40miles for most everything we do. I try hard to make a trip count and do multiple things when I am out, but then I am behind at home and must catch up on that work as well. Have a great week ahead! Terri

    1. Dear Terri, Your poor daughter having broken ribs! I hope she is ok. I would agree that bone broth would be very good for her. I think anything with healing involved needs top nutrition.
      Yes each trip must serve a lot of purposes. It is all about good lists. Like you I find the whole day out (which it is usually) means I have catching up to do. Overall the more I am home the better things go.
      I really need to make enchiladas. I only learned them a year ago from Vicky! I love them and found they freeze pretty well too. I must put this on my list. Have a great new week. With love

  17. Dear Annabel,
    I love reading about your life in the country, your adventures and of course all the sweet animals. I agree with some of the other girls, your little Wyandotte looks like she is wearing a lace overlay so I love the name Lacey for her. Have had a good week here with some grocery bargains, also picked up a beautiful white desk from ebay for $30, has moulding, dovetailed drawers, it is very well built and goes perfectly with our bedroom furniture, the sellers were lovely people too so that was a bonus. The sun is shining here today so I am heading out to do some gardening and trim the roses back while they are dormant. Wishing you all a happy Sunday and a great week ahead.
    Love Lisa xo

    1. Dear Lisa, I have had a lot of votes for Lacey! I think I will use all the names as there are a whole heap of nameless chickens and many have really pretty feathers.
      What a good buy the desk was! Beautifully made!
      I am having a fairly constructive Sunday and just sat down to a cup of tea. Have a wonderful new week. With love

  18. Another very productive week for you Annabel! How wonderful you will have so many eggs. You said in one of your comments above that your days out set you back at home. I really appreciate you sharing that, as it's something I struggle with. Of course sometimes we need to spend the day out and about, but it can feel like the jobs multiply while I'm gone! Some days i manage to get the washing out, slow cooker and bread maker on before I go out, but others it's a mad rush out the door and then a sense of frustration when I return.

    We start a new school term tomorrow, and I have a very strong feeling that I need to work on making everything run more smoothly. I also need to take better care of myself, as I am feeling run down at the moment. So making sure I feed myself well is going to be a priority too.

    How is your crochet blanket going? I would love to start another but must continue to use up some other craft supplies first before buying any new yarn. I am loving using things up, it's so rewarding!

    I have a random question, you often say that you freeze slices of cake, do you do this with iced cakes as well?

    It is pouring today, so we are having a nice relaxed day at home before everything starts up again.

    Have a lovely week
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, These are my methods too. All hell breaks loose lol when I get home from a day out... and a trip into town is mainly most of a day by the time I do the post office, the shopping at different stores and so on. I always either bring home a really easy dinner or leave the slow cooker on before I go. Unloading the car and packing everything takes ages too.
      I just finished the blanket! It took forever and a day. I dont get so much sit down time. I thought I would in winter but even now I dont get much. However it is all finished and ends sewn in! I do love it and it was a joy to do with the stripes and pretty colours. Now I am working my foundation row for a cup cake strip in soft earth times for the long room.
      Yes I freeze cup cakes, iced cakes and filled cakes. Overall the hold up better if you make them up as cup cakes or muffins. But slices still work they are just more delicate to not break. Otherwise cook two whole cakes and freeze one.
      We have a major wind storm and rain coming. I cant wait for the wind to ease off it is making another big mess!
      Jen do look after yourself. Simple things like an egg and some mushrooms or tomatoes some soup etc are good lunches. If you feel a bit run down it is good to listen to how your body is feeling. I hope the back to school routine goes well. We used to get things very lined up the evening before. That seemed to be my biggest help. And everyone knowing their little routines and jobs. I hope the week is off to a good start for you! With love Annabelxxx

  19. Mrs Chooky has so many wonderful name suggestions. I saw her and thought how her overlapping feathers looked like a Dahlia flower. She is such a pretty girl. Our neighbours last lot of chooks were Wyandottes. He wasn't happy with them as they went off the lay as soon as the humidity went up. He's gone back to the old black girls.

    I trimmed back the lemon tree and came in with a bucket and a half of lemons. I didn't get as much juice as I would have expected. About two months ago every lemon I cut into was discoloured with brown and quite dry. Research told me that this was due to a boron deficiency. I have rectified the deficiency and the new lemons are coming through nice and juicy. I will continue to cut back the tree and remove the older fruit.
    We are getting our back fence replaced so I have been up trimming back the garden in the hopes that not too much will be affected. Whilst doing this I found two cayenne red chillies that were loaded with bright red fruit. Sweet chilli sauce will be made from these.
    Life is full of produce good.

    1. Dear Jane, That is very interesting about the lemons. I will remember this.
      I hope you can move things and not lose anything with the new fence going in. But a new fence will be good. I saw the old wooden fence... I am wondering if the wood could be used for planter boxes. It looks nice and rustic. How good on finding hidden chillies! I know you will put them to good use!
      I like the name Dahlia! I have had lovely suggestions and am going to use them all as I have enough chickens! So Dahlia will be one of them!
      We have a terrible day today, (Monday) extreme wind but rain is coming. I wish it would just start raining it is awful now. Have a very good new week! With much love

  20. I love your new chicken - she is beautiful! The first name that came to mind was Darcy. I don't know where that came from - if I had to think it up it never would have crossed my mind LOL

    1. Dear Kathy, I like that name. I have enough chickens to sue all the names that you are all suggesting so thank you! I hope you are having a good week! With love

  21. Dear Annabel,
    You have had an amazing week! I love your Wyandotte and chicken math. I have always wanted the laced chickens too and bought some, but the store must've had them mixed up with the Australorps as that's what they turned out to be. They are a silvery blue color and very pretty. We are up to 44 chickens now, and many of them are just coming to laying age. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with that many eggs!
    This past week was Colton's first week back at work after a 3 week vacation. He mostly worked on the garden shed and chicken coop. The chicken coop is now finished and all the chickens have been moved. Next we will be tearing down the old coop and fences, moving the old shed out, and digging water, electric, and propane lines. It is coming along so well. It is just so much work. I know it will be worth it though.
    This week was mostly catching up around the house with Colton back at work and back into routine.
    I weeded, fertilized, and mulched my roses and peach tree.
    I have started menu planning again and it is making a big difference savings and health wise. We are changing our diet up and planning for me is key. Since our change I have noticed a big difference in my own health and in dealing with some personal struggles as well.
    I am happy to report I made my very first batch of homemade yogurt! It was easy and I really don't know why I waited so long. Big savings there and superior taste. I'll never go back to store bought.
    I checked out The Complete Tightwad Gazette from our library as I have heard so many good things about it. I am not disappointed! I am taking notes!
    Hopefully I will have more to report next week. I will be praying for Cookie and Rachel.
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, I have been thinking of you a lot lately especially in my chicken adventures!
      Silvery Blue colour chickens sound gorgeous. It might have been a good accident how you got them.
      When I bought the chickens I saw Black ones that lay the blue eggs but they had none for sale. I would dearly like to get some at some stage.
      Will you be able to sell eggs? I hope so... at the market even as the pretty colours will surely make them popular.
      It is wonderful Colton could be home and working on your projects. It is similar here... many many projects and so much work. But each project is so wonderful when it is done.
      Well done on the yoghurt!! I find it very useful. I have many cake and muffin recipes that use up left over yoghurt. Also there is the yoghurt and flour pizza dough... and I use yoghurt in place of cream and sour cream a lot.
      I read the Tightwadd Gazette books a long time ago and could probably do with a refresher. There is a fb group! I think it is just the Tightwadd Gazette fb group or fan club.
      Tomorrow I have lots to post. I had to come up with new nesting boxes for the new chickens so that was one project this week! With much love

    2. Thank you, Kelsey! We are in His hands.
      - - Rachel

  22. Hi Annabel, I think the gorgeous hen looks like a Hyacinth. (Trying to climb up the social ladder kind of look about her, reminds me of Mrs. Bucket' fame)

    1. Thank you Ahlyia, I am a ma fan of Mrs Bucket and my Dad always laughed so much in that show. Good suggestion! xxx

  23. Dear Annabel, Congratulations on your new chooks, I sure miss mine. We had a great, fun holiday away. Vac packing our main meals was such a money saver. I love your idea about a draw for quick lunches in the freezer. I am finding it a bit difficult to get back into the swing of it. Time for some list making to help me prioritise. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I am so glad you are home! Now that is selfish lol but I also am glad you had a great trip! Yes taking food is such a saver. I have found it very helpful having this freezer set up as I now know exactly how many easy meals I can jus thaw. My second step is easy meals I can assemble fast i.e. tuna mornay, pizza, toasties.... I am building them up as I didnt have as many as I thought! Tell M that Blossom the littlest lamb is also weaned now. So for this time I have no one to bottle feed! I dont know what to do with myself. Oh wait...yes I do, catch up on many things!
      You will soon be back into routine! With love


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