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, 15 August 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 16 August, 2019.

This week was pretty good!  Where I left off last week was with baskets of beautiful Proteas.  I then got them into vases and have enjoyed them throughout the house.  They are beautiful!  As I filled my vases birds came to raid the flowers.  Every time I turned my back a bird was in them!

You have to be happy when playing with flowers.  I felt like I was in a florists shop!

This outdoor table is where I do a lot of my handwork.  Fresh air and breeze, birds... it is truly beautiful.

A lot of work this week was on more clearing up and bonfires.  This is an example. Behind a workers cottage was a tree down. It has been dead for years and laying over water tanks.  Andy sawed this up  for firewood and I made heaps of the smaller bits to clean there area up.

This day it started to rain as we worked and I got soaked to the bone and even my work boots were full of water before I gave up!   But another spot is cleaned up.

1 got some Rosemary drying by the fire and packed up the Parsley I had dried already.  It is deep green and smells good.  I already used some in a gift.

I am finding herbs are only taking about four days near the fire to be dry.  So handy!

Mum gave me a giant jar of honey.
When in town I found another two really good gifts for $2 each marked down from over $30 each.
Into the Christmas cupboard they went!

Mum cleaned out her pantry and a whole lot of things came over to feed the chooks. They enjoyed breakfast cereal!
Mum also sent Scout some meat and gave me two bottles of thick pure vanilla essence.

I made a waffle weave pure cotton bedspread that I got for $4 into six king sized kitchen towels.  The back was just cotton sheeting so I saved that in my fabric stash.

I have been working on the veggie garden getting things ready for Spring planting.

The calf and lambs have lived their whole lives so far in the orchard yard next to the house.  But they have eaten all the grass down now and even with me giving them hay they need more grass. So it was time to move them.   We have another yard around the workman cottage (no one lives in this) which is green and lush.  They all follow the wheelbarrow when it is full of hay so I thought I would see if they would follow me out of one yard into another.  We can't shoo them or drive them as they are not the least big afraid of us.   Some days I have left the wheel barrow in the yard and they eat the hay straight from it.  Laffie then tips it over and tries to sit in it. She does the every time!

Anyway my plan worked with the lambs.  They followed me chasing the wheelbarrow full of hay.  Into the new yard they were in about two minutes.  But Laffie got half way and saw green grass and started eating and then she ran around jumping and leaping like crazy!   In the end I put a rope around her neck like a lead and Andy had to help.  He lead and I pushed her from behind.  If she was any bigger this would not have worked.  But in she went and was happy as anything with the lambs and all this green grass.

From this yard they could possibly get out into the main paddocks with the farm sheep and cows.  So I tied a ribbon around all of them so no one can mistake them!  

Haha they look like they are going to a party!  

Luke will roll his eyes when he sees this.  But no one is getting my babies!  They have so much space and grass now.  I made them a big water trough from a big plastic tub.

Thursday I had a baking day.  I made Gingerbread biscuits for the girls, two big trays of Cauliflower Cheese as Cauliflower was on a big special and a giant spaghetti meat sauce.  Then I made two huge pasta bakes to give the girls one each.  We got dinner and there is enough for another dinner. 

Today Mum and I are off o see the girls on our day trip.  I have eggs and a big bunch of parsley to take as well as the bakes. I bet Mum has cooking too!  Usually we share the driving so I take my crochet and get some rows of my blanket done.

How did you build up your nest, get ahead, increase your pantry and save this week?  I hope many opportunities came your


  1. LOVE the ribbons and bows! I just love reading about your animals.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thank you Cheryl! I hope you have a lovely weekend too. The animals give me so much joy. Luke was here tonight. It is possible I will have a new calf tomorrow as he is very worried about a particular cow. We will see how she is in the morning. I hope she is ok. If not... I will make the

  2. Annabel,
    Oh! Laffie looks so happy in "Her Wheelbarrow". They look all so adorable with their bows on.
    Your new towels look like they are going to be so absorbent. So nice to be able to turn one thing into another. No waste but great use.

    Your cooking sounds amazing! All will be so happy to receive their goodies.
    The herbs looks so vibrant. You are definitely going to be adding to your gift pantry and your pantry.

    This week has flown by here so quickly. I did Fall Cleaning, a bit early due to dry wall dust throughout the house. Amazing how it gets into everything. But I have the living levels of the house all cleaned. The basement is going to have to wait till they finish working down there.
    I have some siding on parts of my sun room and first coat of paint inside, it's a soft sky like blue. I'm not sure what colors husband finally decided on for the basement. I'm letting him chose whatever he likes.

    I was fortunate this week to add to my medical pantry for pennies on the dollar, a quarter of the regular price. Husband and I were able to get compression sleeves for my ankles and his elbow. I was also blessed with finding him a pair of slippers for $9, regularly over $35, into the closet they went for when he wears his pair out that he is wearing. It is hard to find him slippers that fit his wide feet so I grabbed those and tossed into cart quickly.

    My grocery store has a few bargains and husband agreed we can go through the registers separately to be able to purchase 2 of each. I was floored that he agrees, but oh so happy. every little bit helps.
    Also yesterday we stopped and purchased essentials for the home.Love going back to school sales, I was able to get a mop, brooms, toilet brush all on sale. But my best find was the tea I drink for $1 less a box, Everyone would have laughed watching me tell husband to keep adding to the cart, he had to almost climb on the shelf to reach them, I came home with 5 boxes. My Pantry is Happy.

    It was an accomplished week but oh so much more to do.
    Annabel, you were very accomplished this week and I know you will do more before it is over.
    Have a Blessed Weekend and Enjoy your time with Mum, Lucy and the Girls.
    Love, Rosanne

    1. Dear Rosanne, Thank you! I find many bought kitchen towels are not absorbent! They are hopeless. Although I do like cotton towelling ones and microfibre ones. Anyway this thick pure cotton is so absorbent! I would love more so will watch out.
      I am discovering if the herbs dry fast the colour is good. The fire is on 24 hours a day so hanging them near the fire is working so well. I must get more parsley hung up to dry.
      It was good to add to the medical pantry. I try to do that every time I can too. Also good on both of you shopping separately. We have done that sometimes when there is a limit per person.
      We both had good weeks! (Making hay while the sun shines!) With much love,

  3. That seems like a really lovely week Annabel! The colour of your dried herbs are so vibrant, not at all like dried herbs from the shops. The kitchen towels look excellent - what a good idea to use a bedspread. The picture of your animals wearing ribbons made me laugh - there's no mistaking who they belong to!

    I have felt really busy this week, but dont feel like I achieved much around the house! I guess some weeks are just filled with getting the basics done. I have definitely made the most of fine days by getting lots of washing done.

    I found a huge pile of cross stitch magazines at the op shop. I bought them all for only $5, and said I would bring back any that I won't use. It's been really nice flicking through them, getting ideas for some future projects. I picked up my daughter's alphabet from the framers - they did a beautiful job. I will take a picture and send it to you.

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend,

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen,
      I have worked out if the herbs are really fresh then dried quickly (near the fire it is about 4 days) then they are lovely! Colour is important. Old grey looking tired herbs are pretty depressed looking haha!
      Yes sometimes I call dinner on the table and in bed in clean linen an achievement. The basics are all that matter when things are just plain hectic.
      I would love to see the alphabet cross stitch! I know it will be beautiful.
      I hope this week is off to a good start! With love

  4. Dear Annabel,
    The proteas are so pretty! I had never heard of them. Your outside work area is great! It's summer here and so hot that we are staying inside more than we like.
    I love the pictures and stories of your animals and their adventures.
    Lots of yummy baking!
    I hope you and your mum have a lovely visit with your girls.
    My limes from last week made about 2 cups of juice which turned into frozen cubes, along with quite a bit of zest that is in the freezer for future use. I was given a large, boneless pork loin which made several meals of pork chops and pork roast with a large piece still frozen for future use.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      How beautiful to get the pork and be able to do so much with it. I am kind of dreading summer and the heat but I am looking forward to the fruit and veggies. But the heat wears everyone out.
      Thank you re my animal adventures! They usually make my day. I thought I had another calf coming this week but it was a false alarm. But no doubt there will be others sometime. I am so glad I took this lot on! With love,

  5. Annabel your week sounds perfect. I went to Tasmania last weekend, for four days, with Hannah and five good friends. We spent the time laughing(I haven't laughed so much in months), talking, drinking tea, eating goodies, fixing what ails the world (as women do when we congregate together) and even managed to slip in a little card making. Back home to the cold I caught up on washing and dried it by the fire. Baked some goodies for the freezer.Had a mild panic attack when I saw just how far our $ had dropped - I was imagining the .50 $of the early 2000s. I've done a complete updated inventory of pantry, fridge and freezer and made a new shopping list of things we will need in the future. Being able to feed my family, keep them and our home clean and having the supplies to grow food is my security blanket. I need to know that come what may, we will be able to eat and stay clean :) So I finally took the plunge and have ordered a pressure canner. This has been on the wish list for years, and I've been saving but of course something would come up and I'd use the money for whatever it was. After talking it over with Wayne, whose attitude has always been "just get it, we'll work out the money" I did. It was on sale, came with bonus jars and lids and should be delivered Monday. The plans I have made already - that thing will be getting a workout. I also started tomato seeds this week so they'll be ready to plant out at the end of September. I have some new cotton yarn in pretty colours so I've also been busy knitting up dishcloths. Some for my glory box, some for Hannah, some for gifts and some to sell. It looks like we're in for another arctic blast, so today while it is reasonably OK I'd like to finish adding compost to the new veggie beds to get them ready for planting, then do some baking for the weekend. Have a lovely weekend, stay warm and dry. Cath xxxx

    1. Dear Cath, I am writing to you in "waiting time" here in the city. I am so happy that you had such a wonderful trip and it was so creative too! Also I am thrilled about your canner as I know you have wanted one so much! And I know how you will use it. I am doing a similar thing in that I am taking the plunge to buy a really decent sized freezer. If right now I had a deer, or pig (as I can buy half a pig very cheaply) or any bulk meat at all I have no freezer room. I have three small freezers, s mall chest freezer and two fridge/freezers so they dont hold very much. So I need to do this to greatly increase what I can freeze or I will miss out on say a whole deer or something!
      So sometimes we have to make wise investments and we both are doing that.
      I will follow your lead and start some tomatoes too. My plan is to plant fortnightly right through to March.
      I love that you have a glory box! I had a farm house glory box too. Even not knowing if it was happening I still dreamed of it and here I am!
      I hope your week is going well! With love

    2. Dear Cath, I am fasinated by your purchase of a Canner. I have a Fowlers Vacola set to do fruit but have been wondering if I should get a Pressure Canner. I met a man in Big W store once as I was looking at the Bell products they sell there. He said he has canned for years - even yabbies. He says he is always asked to go away camping with friends as he supplies most of the food and dosent need to refrigerate it. I really wish I had asked for his phone number (lol that might have been a bit weird). I will look out for news of how you go. Cheers, Clare

  6. Annabelle I just love reading about your week, and to imagine working on projects sitting outside under a lovely chandelier is just beautiful. Maybe you need to write a book with beautiful pictures in but I think you are already so busy xx. Sharlene

    1. Dear Sharlene, Thank you so much! I am lucky to have so much beauty around me. I definitely appreciate it that is for sure.
      I hope you have a wonderful new week! With love

  7. Love the ribbons tied around your pets and Laffie laying in the wheelbarrow is so cute. Love the bedspread dish towels. Recovering so not much done except trying to keep me fed gluten free! I think I may wander out tomorrow and see if I can pick a small amount of parsley in a pot I have. Thanks for sharing your life. Nancy

  8. Love the ribbons tied around your pets and Laffie laying in the wheelbarrow is so cute. Love the bedspread dish towels. Recovering so not much done except trying to keep me fed gluten free! I think I may wander out tomorrow and see if I can pick a small amount of parsley in a pot I have. Thanks for sharing your life. Nancy

    1. Dear Cozy Thyme Cottage, It is an adjustment going GF but it did me so much good there is no looking back! Life changer! I miss out on nothing now and feel so good. So focus on this and your recovery. I hope you feel better and better. With love

  9. This has been a terrific week! We finished our cabinets on either side of the BBQ, using almost completely free materials! As a final part, we made doors from recycled cedar fence and Dave even made a roll out drawer for the wastebasket. We did buy the magnetic patches but we had the hinges (we spray painted them all black so they almost match!)
    I got the brick walkway almost finished along the 18 foot long blackberry bed.
    Then the friends who gave us the canning jars asked if we would like to start taking home the brick pavers that they took out when they put up their deck. We brought the first load home- around 200 bricks and see that there are easily more than 10 times more (2000 or more bricks)! We priced the same bricks new at Lowes when we were there to return a couple extra things and they were over 50 cents a brick!!! That means we’ve received a generous gift of over $1100 value! So we will put in the first 3 feet wide area of our eating area between BBQ and gazebo with those to start so then we don’t have to do it after we build the buffet counter on the back of the BBQ! This is going to look pretty terrific on a tiny budget!!! I’m excited!!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, Wow this is very good. The bricks are amazing and I saw your BBQ set up and it is just excellent. What a good job! I love an outdoor kitchen and this is a great idea.
      Getting given canning jars is also amazing. I know you will put those to good use.
      With all this your husband will be thinking of going back to work for a rest haha! Just kidding I know that you both are always very industrious and I admire this immensely. You have some major projects going. You must be so pleased! Have a good new week... with your new machine too! With love

  10. Annabel,
    I hope you and Mum have a wonderful day. Lol the ribbons on your babies is adorable. Laffie is quite the character!
    This week I used a bunch of bananas and made 4 loaves of banana bread to share around. I'm doing deep composting in my bed of transplanted raspberries and blackberries so the peels went out there. I was able to harvest a very small basket of veggies. It feels strange to not be canning yet, but I am making sure nothing goes to waste. My granddaughter was here and she loved to help so I'm redoing a basket for her to carry veggies in. She loved her little tea set too. And she thought her first op shopping trip was just great. She's a cutie. I made 2 large meatloaves for dinner and then lunch sandwiches. We get eggs everyday from our ladies and nothing beats fresh eggs! I'm building up our water storage last year those 4 months without water taught me a lot even as much as I had on hand and prepared for such an event. I started sanding a table I'm repurposing and painted and stained a dirty wooden swan I was gifted. I had only enough black paint for the beak. I misplaced something I need to finish my bucket and still haven't found it. Wish me luck Lol

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Laffie is very funny. She is VERY nosey. Whatever you are doing she is right there having a good look.
      Your Grand daughter would LOVE her own basket to pick and bring in veggies, maybe eggs too.
      Meatloaves are a good idea. I havent made meat loaf in ages and I love it.
      Also the banana bread was a good thing to use up the bananas.
      I cant wait to see your table. I loved the swan! Have a very good new week! With love,

  11. Dear Annabel, I just love your photos. Those are such beautiful flowers, and I just love that table and it it in the fresh air, overlooking the garden. How beautiful. I also just love how stylish your animals are! I love your packaged herbs as gifts. They will make lovely gifts, as will those beautiful tea towels. I love how you help out your girls. That is so inspiring to me. I think this is the best gift! A night off cooking. I had a good week. A lady gave me two doona covers for the boys. I am finishing off crocheting a tea towel and we got some beans off our bean vine (thank you, Annabel). I was excited as I have never really grown anything before this year. I also did a huge tidy up of the boys' wardrobes, moved the (baby) sizes into boxes, which I need to sell/donate and culled worn/untidy pieces. Everything is much neater. I now need to do the linen press....Sending you lots of love. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      How nice the lady gave you doona covers! And you are harvesting beans! Well done! As you have successes you will want to try more. Some things just grow well here. You have to find out what grows well where you live. Tomatoes go crazy here which is good as they are useful in so many recipes.
      You are right, to a young busy Mum a night off cooking and a good meal is a real gift. For anyone really. The gift of help is the thing... a little help can make so much difference even to morale.
      Have a good new week! With love

  12. Annabel your babies look exactly as I would expect them to be. Luke might roll his eyes but he would be disappointed if they weren't dressed up a little special.
    This has been a gardening week and a breaking the car week. I broke a terracotta pot that house a small lemon tree. I ended up digging out a fig tree out of a pot and rehomed the lemon tree in this pot. The fruit fly get into the figs and they end up full of maggots. The lemons are a much better fruit for around here. Lots of fertilising and topping up of pots. Lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and beans are coming in every day. Strawberry guava fruits are being picked daily.
    I went to Spotlight and when I got out of the car I could not get the door to shut. I duc taped the door shut and when I went over a speed bump the door locked. When I got home we couldn't get the door to open. Off to the mechanics the car did go. A panel beater had to be involved. I drive the car very little yet I am the one that ends up with the costly breakages. It is fixed now which is so good.
    Time to stay at home and save a few dollars after the car issue.
    Life is warm, sunshiney good.

    1. Jane, I laughed at loud at your car experience (duct tape)....sorry ;)

    2. Dear Jane,
      I am with Mary, just amazed at first the door WONT shut then the door LOCKS shut and the duct tape. Like one of those days it is safer to stay in bed lol
      It is a shame about fruit flies. Just awful. We do not get them and I hope never get them.
      It is amazing to me you have so much produce coming in. that is wonderful. I am just pulling up things that are finished and getting ready fro Spring planting. Not long to go now!
      Have a very good (and inexpensive!) new week! With love

  13. I love reading about your week. It makes my day!! And the antics of your animals make me smile every time!

    I stumbled upon some fresh beetroot at just 99 cents a kilo this week!!! I bought a big 10kg bag of them and on Monday I am going to pickle and bottle them. They last for a couple of years this way, and they are so nice it’s impossible to eat tinned beetroot after you’ve eaten mine! I went to the op shop and bough 25 glass jars for 10 cents each to do the job! I have to get the labels off and wash them this weekend in readiness, but it will be so worth it!

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you! I love beetroot. That is a wonderful price. They will look spectacular bottled with that colour! I was converted to loving beetroot at a Greek restaurant who has it so fresh and beautiful and totally unlike canned beetroot as you say.
      You had good luck getting those jars! I am looking forward to spring and produce... and I am saving and also buying jars like you did as I am hoping to need a lot! With love,

  14. Oh my goodness, I LOVE the ribbons!

  15. I love the ribbons, too! And the kitchen towels are fabulous! They will be so useful. I had a root canal on a hard to get to back tooth this week and that is about it by the time I had all that anesthesia and recovered. I was so glad that I knew how to help it heal with oils and such. We are hardly keeping up with tomatoes as they are ripening fast but they are so delicious that we are eating them happily. Have a happy weekend.

    1. Dear Lana, I cannot wait to be picking tomatoes. I havent planted them yet but I have three weeks to go!
      I am sorry about your dental work that is no fun at all. That would slow down the week for sure. I hope you are healing well.
      Have a very good new week! Love

  16. Ha, ha, ha! When I saw the lambs and Laffie with ribbons around their necks, I instantly pictured you with frilly pantaloons and a bonnet and a shepherdess crook as "Mary Had a Little Lamb"!! So cute!!!

    Those flowers are just stunning...I've never seen them before!

    This week will be epic as I will finally finish a formal dress I have been sewing for someone to attend a Regimental Dinner. This was going to be an "easy" project...famous last words! I thought, 3 months ago, I would start then and have the rest of the summer laughing, already ready...but here I am, one week ahead. Many lessons have been learned, but at least I am done AHEAD of time and I think the wearer will look stunning. And I am very ready to be done! :)

    Hope you have a marvellous weekend!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Everyone is saying they havent seen these flowers except the Aussie girls so they must be a southern thing. I do love them. And they were my favourite price ! haha!
      Well done on such an epic project. Many you are practicing for a future wedding dress too! I can see this!
      Have a wonderful new week! Love

  17. Oh my goodness, Annabel, I love those four-legged babies of yours! Especially the ribbons! I can see Luke rolling his eyes! Having grown up on a small dairy farm my Dad would have, too! Shirley
    P.S. Exclamation points are the only punctuation that works today - ha ha

    1. Dear Shirley, It would have been lovely growing up on a farm! My theory is the men secretly love our funny ways. Either that or our cooking helps us get away with stuff!
      I hope you have a lovely new week! With love,

    2. Dear Annabel,
      I love your theory. I think you are on to something!
      Love, Kelsey

  18. Oh Annabel you have done so much and the proteas are beautiful and the noisy minor appears to be loving them too. Cows are typically hard to herd when young but I am glad the lambs followed the wheelbarrow. You can try and walk and clap your hands at Laffie with two of you and she will most likely be herded that way but a lead works too. The ribbons on the babies are divine.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $107.03 in savings last week :).

    In the kitchen and adding to the pantry -
    - Cooked all meals and some bread from scratch. The other times we ate discounted bread rolls we bought on clearance.
    - Increased our food storage by a carton of powdered milk, 32 tins of smoked chicken and 5 tins of lychees while monthly grocery shopping and I am under budget by $36 for the month.

    Home organisation-
    - DH took down one set of venetian blinds that weren't working and installed 4 curtain rod holders and rods.
    - I made two sets of curtains from fabric purchased for $3 metre on special from Spotlight one for the kitchen door and another set for the top of the stairs in the rumpus room which I put up and put the curtain ends on the rails. The one in the kitchen will stop the heat escaping when the slow combustion fireplace is going so the cat can get outside. By making them we saved so far $28.80 over purchasing them.

    Internet listings and earnings -
    - Made $31 from the sale of a lace curtain we no longer need from the home as I have replaced them with new cotton ones to keep out the summer sun.
    - Listed 10 items on eBay on a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases & Fuel -
    - Purchased 120.5 lts of fuel using our RACQ e-gift card giving us 5% off and took advantage of our 4 c per litre everyday rewards saving us $12.53 on usual prices. We only fill up when we have 4 empty jerry cans at home as they strap (ocky strap) better into the boot of the car without falling over and we last purchased fuel 2 months ago.
    - Purchased 5 x 6pk of white and wholemeal bread rolls and a loaf of bread for $1.25 on clearance saving $4.50 on usual prices.
    - Bought 32 tins of smoked chicken from Aldi to top up the pantry with saving $3.20 on prices in other supermarkets.
    - Got 3 free samples (a packet of spaghetti, almond and apricot cream cheese, and a cauliflower soup) as I am a taste tester for a supermarket saving $9.75 over purchasing them.
    - Bought our usual grocery staples and probiotics for the month saving $21.75 by picking up specials.
    - As DH had his eye on a leather hat for sometime we decided to buy it and by asking if they could do a better price we saved $10 on the usual price.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful week as we did.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, To stock up the pantry plus be under budget is very good shopping. This is how I am dealing with the lunches mostly... I buy up bread rolls on big specials. There is one shop in our town who often put out marked down rolls, buns etc. Into the freezer they go. Warmed up they are so fresh and good.
      You have reminded me to check jerry cans or have Andy check as we also keep four to five full and rotate them. This is our back up for generator etc.
      Your sewing is so helpful for the home project plus also your store. Curtains are very expensive especially custom made.
      I almost got another calf this week but it was a false alarm. However I found myself so excited at the prospect. The boys all know I will take orphans so I know it is a matter of time. There are a few calves around at the moment. All my babies are growing up! Except Scout she still is my baby lol
      I am glad you had such a productive week. You got ahead in many ways! With love

  19. I couldn't help but smile when I saw your posted photo of the lambs and Laffy on Instagram with their bows...I thought "That's just like Annabel to have her pets looking all pretty!" lol Reading through your post today reminded me that I am in need of vanilla for my pantry. I added it to my list after reading of your getting vanilla from your mum's pantry.

    1. Thank you Terri! I love vanilla. Vanilla beans and essence is getting very expensive. I have a friend now trying to grow her own beans. How I would love to do that! xxx

  20. I'm new to your lovely blog and am so happy to have found it! I so love your repurposed towels; what a useful transformation! I've been doing some planning this week for the school year ahead for my children. And some freezing of garden produce! I have more of both to go, but it's good to be making progress.

    1. Dear Dianna, Welcome! I am so glad to have you here! I use a lot of recycled fabrics. It is amazing what you can get in thrift stores that is miles and miles of good quality fabric once cut up. Bed linens and curtains especially!
      It can be tiring at the end of summer making the most of the produce but a good investment of time and energy. We are at the end of winter and now I am itching to plant the spring veggies. Thank you for commenting! Love

  21. Dear Annabel,
    Your photo of your flowers on the outdoor table with the chandelier looks like it could be right out of a magazine. It is so beautiful. I love your repurposed towels, and the ribbons around Laffie and the lambs are so sweet.
    This week was so busy it seems like it should be two. At the beginning of the week, we went to Costco (the trip was about 3 hrs away) and stocked up on pantry staples. We got 40lbs of flour, a large bag each of chia and flax seed, 18 cans of tuna and salmon, 3 bottles of apple cider vinegar, and 2 huge containers of coconut oil. This was an expense but should last us a very long time. Of course I price checked to make sure it was the cheapest of all my usual stores and it was. I took all of our food for the trip (homemade) and that was a huge savings. Then not a savings, but I thought I should take advantage of us being nearby, so I got 5 more IKEA baskets for my shelves in the loft. I got everything organized and it looks much better.
    The old garden shed was finally moved down to my FIL'S. It looks much different outside. We have been selling eggs. We discovered it is cheaper to mix our own scratch grains for the chickens, so we buy the ingredients instead of pre-mixed. Of course I continue to give them scraps.
    In the kitchen, I made meat pies for our trip and the freezer, protein balls (oats, peanut butter, honey and choc chips), a batch of gluten free muffins, and a batch of your use it up muffins. 10lbs of my bargain potatoes from last week became 9 quart bags of french fries for the freezer. 5 more pounds were cooked and dehydrated for instant mashed potatoes. Papa brought home a huge container of taco meat left over from his church, and I made two different meals from that. I also harvested some butternut squash from the garden. All meals were at home.
    I bought a birthday gift for my dad, paying for it partially with points I earned. He wants to make his own vanilla so I got him some vanilla beans.
    One of the most exciting things this week was that our thrift store had another bag sale. Buy a small trash bag for $1, or a large one for $2, and fill it with anything in the store. I got so many canning jars, lots of baskets, 5 spools of brand new cream crochet cotton, some country decorating books and magazines, a nice shirt for John, and a few other small things. My total was $3!!! Then the ladies told me next door they were having a fabric sale and it was $2 to fill a bag. So you can guess I went straight over and filled my bag! I got lots of long cuts of denim, some kitchen themed fabric, and some velvety fabric that I will turn into pillows and heat packs. All for $2! Colton says I am going to break him lol. I have befriended the thrift store ladies, so they were so helpful and asked if there was anything else on my list (because I had a list!). I told them what else I needed and they started stuffing things into my bag. Just a huge blessing!
    Sorry this is so long. It was a long week! I'm hoping for a relaxing Sunday!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Kelsey it was a joy to hear your week. I have a habit of befriending everyone and the thrift store ladies is a good example. They will look out for you and help you. It is worth saying what you are needing. Many things are out the back not in the store yet. I have had so much help from thanking them and chatting and making friends.
      Your bag sales were amazing. What great things you got! I love the sound of that velvet fabric!
      Also it is so great you are selling eggs and got the food left over and made meals.
      Now the trip to Costco and Ikea sounds like so much fun! Seriously that is my idea of a good day! It is so good to stock up and the baskets will be so good for your sewing attic. I get so many ideas from IKEA. They are very clever with storage ideas!
      It is a good tip on the chicken food. I will check into that. I am doing all I can to get everyone laying. I am also giving a lot of fresh greens which they go crazy over!
      I am so happy for your week and yes it sounds like the work of two weeks! Have another good one this week! With love

    2. Dear Annabel,
      Thank you! For the chicken scratch, we just looked on the back of the bag of scratch we normally buy to see what grains it included. We ended up buying corn, milo, sunflower seeds, and I think barley or wheat. Of course mixing our own, we ended up with a lot, but it worked out to nearly half of the price! I give them protein pellets in the morning, then in the afternoon I will give them some scratch if I don't have enough scraps. I know that since I doubled their protein pellets, their egg production picked up significantly!
      Love, Kelsey

  22. Dear Annabel, oh wow those babies of yours with their ribbons, how sweet. I know I am late and in the middle of next week so to speak lol but I had a good, productive week of rearranging and decluttering. I can now move on to other projects. I hope you are having a great week, love Clare

  23. Annabel, I meant to say - reading Kelsey's (thankyou Kelsey) comment above gave me a light bulb moment. I have some blue velvet which my daughter loves feel of and colour - I could make heat packs out of it. Did you say you use Barley inside heat packs? Do you sew barley into any other material before outside material? Thankyou Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I have used organic wheat and otherwise Barley from the soup section (Pearl Barley) and I like these. I have not liked rice i the bags. The velvet would be perfect. Don't over fill leave some "squishiness" to the bags. If my fabric is thinner I do make an inner bag. It can be a good idea if you have a lovely cover you want to keep as one day the heat pack will just reach an over cooked point. If I use mine all the time sometimes they also a year or two. Over heating is my usual thing that wrecks them. With a fabric like velvet you can just put the barley straight in if you want.
      It is great you have finished your decluttering and re arrange. Things must be looking lovely! Many thanks Clare, love

  24. Morning Annabel, sorry late reporting, we had a good week, we processed one lamb and put lots of chops some roasts and casserole meat into our freezer, we also processed an older lamb, and made 14kgs (30lb) of mince into the freezer.
    Also processed a lot of young turkeys and shared them with one of our daughters, whole turkies, turkey mince, turkey pieces ie breasts, legs, wings etc, and the carcases are in the freezer to make stock/broth so 14 turkeys provided a lot of food in the freezer for two households. The turkeys have started to lay again.
    Last Fri I went to the Base Hospital in the next town, about an hours away and had a back operation to relieve my spinal stenois, huge relief that it has worked and no more issues with my walking and nerve damage to my legs. Came home Sunday evening, now convalescing, operation site is still very sore.
    My plans are to plan my spring and summer vegie garden, and as I heal more finish birthday presents and start on Chrstmas Preps and presents.
    I am so looking forward to gardening again as I have not been allowed to garden for 12 months
    You and your Dad and your family are in my thoughts and prayers
    Much love Lorraine xx

    1. Dear Lorraine,
      Your freezers will be full! Today we got our new freezer! I am so excited. I had not enough room to take even a deer if we have one. So this is a good investment. I dont know how you did all this plus the turkeys as it is all a lot of work! Well done. I hope you get many new baby turkeys!
      Please do let yourself heal from this surgery. It is wonderful it was successful. Some crafting will be prefect in this time! It will also be fantastic when you can garden again!
      You had a huge week. With love,

  25. Hi Annabel, I often enjoy reading your interesting and informative blog. I just had to make a comment on Laffie, lying in the wheelbarrow. My husband grew up on his dad's dairy farm where they also had sheep, chickens and geese. When I showed him the pic of Laffie in the wheelbarrow he knew exactly what was going on. Laffie is doing common calf behavior, where they lie in the fields against their mother. He said that if mom isn't around they will lie against hay bales - anything they can find really. A bit sad but I am sure that Laffie is a very contented calf with you and the many lamb friends
    . Sincerely, Beth

    1. Dear Beth,
      As soon as you said this I saw your husband is exactly right! Of course! I se this every day around me but didnt think of it with the wheel barrow. Black also!
      The lambs all snuggle up to Laffie but they are so little compared to here. It is a bit sad but I am glad we could save her.
      Thank you for your kind comment Beth, with love


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