The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Friday 9 August 2019

The Bluebirds are Nesting, 9th August, 2019.

I am late this week.  Yesterday I travelled down to see the girls and last night we had a big storm.  The internet is so bad here if the weather is rough.  So I gave up in the end and this morning is clear so I am in luck!

My list was not so long this week.  The main thing of benefit here was rain.  One of our rain water tanks filled up.  I think this morning the second one might be full too!

Yesterday was wonderful.  I went to see the girls with cup cakes and had a lovely time with them.  I came home with a big bunch of Rosemary and baskets of pink Proteas!  I am in heaven!  At this stage they are just in baskets and today I will get them hanging to dry and some in fresh water.

There are many buds on this tree so each week I can get some more!!  

Now there has been rain Lucy's kitchen window looks out over water.  While doing dishes she sees  Swans!  In the evening they have Wallabies on the lawn.  I was able to get a photo of a Swan on a nest.

Early in the week (and before the rain) we worked on bonfires.  We are up to number 31!  One day we had four going at once and as Andy chainsawed I would drag the dead wood onto a fire. We finished a whole area this way.  

See the little figure in the background?  That is Scout. Yep, we wore her out.  Now this is really saying something as this dog never tires!  But she totally flaked out by later afternoon.

It was hard work and I have a fair few bruises but a day outside in the sun and getting heaps done was so good.  I notice lots of birds and beautiful little finds.

I went into town to meet my friend Wendy.  We do some little trades and talk what to make next.  It was a lovely day and I was able to go to two op shops and pick up several bargains in the grocery store.

My pantry had many additions.  I am really pleased.  Checking grocery stores in small towns and studying the catalogues etc....  there are not that many really good deals but when I do find one I get a fair amount and stock up.  

I hope it was a good week for you?  How did you build up your home, savings, pantry or garden? 

Thank you for the amazing response to the new series.  I am working away on our first subject, saving in the laundry. xxx


  1. Oh, Scout, what a wonderful life you have, Darlin'. Those Proteas are beyond amazing! And they grow on trees? Wow.
    A black swan on a nest is a fairytale view for doing dishes!! How blessed you all are; but, it takes us noticing, too? There is so much amazing beauty all around us, if we'll just listen and look.
    I made a batch of soap with your recipe yesterday. I'd never used dry milk or beeswax in soap before. It's beautiful, thank you for sharing. I left out the honey, tho, cuz we don't have bees here on our property ;p
    We were given 3 more giant zucchinis this week, so I made some more relish with one and plan on frying up a 2nd, then making zucchini bread with the 3rd. Free food IS fun! ;)
    Love from San Diego,

    1. Dear Mary,
      I say a tree as it was about as high as a house. And covered! If I had a ladder I would have 10 x more! But I will go back!
      Yes the beauty around us is amazing. Driving to see Lucy and the girls we see Emus every time. Ducks, Brolgas, we go through vineyards and forests. It is glorious really.
      I am so happy you made the soap! I hope it dries beautifully and you love it. It is very creamy and good.
      The zucchini is so good. I like to make Zucchini slice. But it has so many uses. I like it as soup too.
      Have a very good new week! With much love,

  2. Lovely photos, sounds like a wonderful productive week, thank you for sharing.

  3. The proteas are amazing: lucky you!
    I love watching Scout grow too.
    We picked up three large 'olive barrel" pots from an internet friend, for free. We were given a goji berry plant which had never fruited, so I have given it a new big pot with lots of good soil and we are hoping for the best!

    1. Thank you! I am amazed I got the proteas as many people had the option to pick them and no one did! I am loving them throughout the house!
      I hope your Goji berry grows for you! The olive barrel was a very good addition. Berries are something I really lack here. I am going to have to try some berries to grow. I also have places to plant vines so I am thinking passionfruit.
      I hope you have a good new week. With much love

  4. Hello Annabel,
    Good work on another beautiful week with lots accomplished and beautiful photos!

    Our son is currently in Australia for some training. He is enjoying the scenery and amazing animals that we don't have here in the U.S.

    My daughter who does paper crafting came home with a huge stack of cardstock, patterned paper, stickers, etc. that was being given away as someone was getting out of paper crafting. She was good to offer to share it all and also picked out a several sets that she thought I might especially like. They will be useful for photo albums, card making, etc.

    A neighbor gave me bag of fresh limes from her tree. I haven't tried it yet, but found a recipe for key lime bread that sounds like a yummy use for some of them. I want to get them zested, juiced and frozen for future use. I made a big batch of meatballs which will provide some easy meals.

    There were a few items on good sale or free at the grocery along with the monthly senior discount. One of the stores that regularly gave a Friday free item and $2 off $40 purchase or $3 off $50 has discontinued both. We were able to fill both vehicles with $1 off per gallon earned with points at the grocery store. Grapes and watermelon were a good price and are so nice to eat when the weather is hot. It was 115 F a few days ago.

    I'm looking forward to your new post and learning from you and other Bluebirds!

    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      How wonderful your daughter got all those supplies! You both can turn it all into so much.
      I am glad you son is liking Australia!
      It is great you were able to gets some good sales and savings on fuel.
      I am working on my first subject, the laundry. I am quite excited too as I am leaning as I go. But in the last few years I have learned so much. But there is more to learn!
      Have a wonderful new week. With love and thanks,

  5. Your week sounds idyllic but cold at times. I love that swans can be seen while one works. that is so beautiful.

    1. Thank you Suzan, Yes it was a pretty cold week but inside we are snug with the fire going. I dont mind it. Have a good new week! xxx

  6. Annabel, imagine having access to so many proteas as I think they cost the earth in the flower shops. I hope you are keeping warm with that dreadful cold front which is even moving up here to Queensland as the wind is picking up now and tomorrow is supposed to be really cold and windy. Stay safe and warm.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I thought this too, how much such stunning flowers would be worth. Many people had the chance to pick these too and no one bothered which amazes me!
      We have had the fire going pretty well flat out. It has been cold but also so windy it is a big mess.
      I think this week will be a break from wind and rain. This is ok as the sun will help the grass grow... then we will be hoping for rain again (this is farming for you!) Have a wonderful new week. With love

  7. Hi Annabel and you sound like you are clearing at a great rate of knots before fire season and I bet the yard is looking good. The swan is beautiful and what a lovely view and the flowers look beautiful.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $404.50 in savings last week :).

    Extra house payments, Income earned and eBay listings -
    - Paid an additional $175 mortgage payment off the home.
    - Listed 10 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.
    - Made $31 from the sale of some lace curtains we had in the home that I am replacing with home made cotton ones to keep the summer heat out.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch apart from one meal we ate out.

    Purchases -
    - From Kmart I purchased a wool blend coat for $15 and 2 cotton long sleeved t-shirts on clearance saving $47 on usual prices.
    - DH purchased 2 pairs of new jeans from BigW on sale for $7 a pair saving $26.00 on usual prices.
    - From Best and Less DH purchased 3 x 3 pk of work socks on special saving $15 on usual prices.

    Home organisation -
    - We realigned all the storage shelving units in food storage room so we have even walk through aisles.
    - Took everything off the shelves and reorganised it all in date order and spread out everything so it now has the right amount of room.
    - Did an inventory of the food storage room and pantries to see what we need to reach our food storage goals.

    Water preservation -
    - Saved the shower warm up water to fill up drink bottles for cleaning around the home.
    - Used the grey water from the grey water tank to water fruit and berry trees in the gardens and the neighbour's for watering grass to green it up a bit.

    Medical -
    - Organised to get a thyroid scan to be bulk billed saving $300 if I had to pay for it.
    - I am undergoing pre skin cancer treatment for carcinomas on my face with cream probably saving a lot in medical bills for having skin cancers removed later on when they got worse.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful week of savings and productivity :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      Your food storage room is sounding amazing! A true little shop even with isles! You had great savings for the week.
      My Mum had the cream for her face spots too. She found it felt burny but it is a good thing to get rid of doubtful spots before they go any further. And less scaring.
      The bulk billing on the scan was great. I have found now to ring around and ask ask ask re bulk billing of specialists etc. We have had very good results with this. Sometimes saving hundreds. It never hurts to ask anyway.
      You are right about fire season. Last year we only had a few weeks to work before the fire ban kicked in. We did as much as we could. Then that was it! Once fire ban was lifted we got going again. We are up to fire number 31! It is hard to believe. Some of them have been massive and boring all night into the next day. We still have a fair bit to do but I would say we are 3/4 there. Right now it is very wet but with a few sunny days we will get the next few lit. There is a big tree to cut up and several to drag away then cut up. It is kid of fun work on nice day. We can really see the results now. Some areas have gone from mess to grass and so green now. It is very nice to see it making a difference.
      Have a very good new week with more good savings! With love

  8. Oh I adore proteas and yours are delightful. Enjoy!
    Julie D

    1. Thank you Julie I have filled my home with them and it is glorious! xxx

  9. Annabel,
    What a busy, productive and lovely week you have had.
    Lucy has a beautiful view from her kitchen window. Oh to watch a swan in her nest.
    You are making an amazing amount of progress on your bonfires and clearing the farm before fire season. So happy you are getting it all done before the ban.
    It has to feel so good seeing your water tanks fill. prayers they do stay full through your Spring and Summer.

    I was able to forage elderberries and dry them, this a true blessing, I have 3 1/4 quarts after drying. I found a few but not many deals at the grocery store, they are few and far between. I have been able to keep the house as clean as possible with the construction and we were able to trim and clean up 2 sides of the house gardens and trim one of the trees. The tree in itself though small took both of us 2 1/2 hours to trim, we have another larger tree still to do.

    My Sun Room is finally starting to look like a room. The dry wall is up but sanding is needed and I am not looking forward to all that dust throughout the house. but it will mean wee are one more step closer to using it.

    I pray you are able to get the farm all cleared before fire season and am happy to hear you have been able to stock some from the grocery stores.
    I love the proteas, we have nothing like them in the US, they are so pretty.

    Have a Blessed Week Dear,
    Love, Rosanne

    1. Dear Rosanne, I thought it was fantastic about the Elderberries. I would love to have them here and would be forcing for them also!
      I know how dusty the construction can get. I think the dust is the worst part. I didnt realise the proteas are not something other countries have but I know they are in South Africa as many originate from there.
      I hope you have a beautiful weekend! You had a big week! With love,

  10. Such a sweet pup! I bet it had a grand day!
    Those flowers are absolutely lovely. I have never seen those before. So pretty - I guess according to you said they grow on trees (?)
    Have a good weekend!

    1. Dear Cheryl, Technically I am not sure if it is a tree or a bush but it was as high as a house. So I went with tree! I am enjoying my house filled with these sooo much! I am experimenting with them to see if they dry well.
      Have a lovely weekend to you too! With love

  11. Rain would be lovely. It is so dry and hot here that every plant is gasping for water. we had an expensive week with an expensive repair on our vehicle but it is done now and we saved money by not having a car for 2 1/2 days since we could not go anywhere.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, We have beeb blessed with some more rain. We are so grateful and my tanks are looking good!
      Unexpected expenses are a pain but it is good your car is repaired and that is done. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  12. Dear Annabel, The colour of the Proteas is beautiful. Little Scout, how delicious. I have had a great week just quietly working away sorting/cleaning. It feels so good to have most areas sorted - particularly my paperwork , I had misplaced two important documents which happily I found! You teach the importance of keeping our eyes open to bargains - yesterday I filled my car with petrol, as I waited in line I saw a $1 sign on a shelf with all sorts of things including 3 loaves of bread. I took one of the loaves, thinking perhaps it was a mistake - bread was still in date, nothing wrong with it. As I moved up in the line I thought, wow Clare, bread can be frozen, don't waste this opportunity grab the other two! When I got to the counter I said to the lady "just checking that his bread is only $1", well it was and I learnt another lesson - eyes open - everywhere. Now I have 3 extra loaves in my freezer for only $3. Have a great new week everyone, love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      You got a great bargain! I see bread so expensive! You saved quite a few dollars there. I have found this where I get petrol too! They are connected to Coles and have some big deals in store. The other day it was a big special on toilet paper. So I got a big pack. Yes, watch out EVERYWHERE. Good work!
      I am glad you have been able to keep organising and sorting and you were rewarded with finding things!
      I hope you have a good new week. The weekend was a bit of a rest, I was tired. With much love,

  13. Oh My! Sweet Scout is definitely out for the count! Your Proteas are beautiful - I can hardly wait to see what you do with them. It would be wonderful to have a window in my kitchen but not to be in an apartment but to have one AND look out and see swans - the best! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Shirley

    1. Dear Shirley, Maybe I will post a picture actually from Lucys window to show you. It is a big expanse of water and birds. It is quite amazing! Poor Scout she is so energetic and we still wore her out. She hates missing any action!
      I hope you have a good new week! With much love

    2. I'd love to see the whole scene from Lucy's kitchen window! Thanks! How is your Mum? You didn't mention her going with you. Hugs!

    3. Shirley you are very observant. Mum had a really bad shoulder and a lot of pain and couldnt mover her arm so she was out of action for a few days. It takes a lot to put Mum out of action too! But she is heaps better and we are heading to see the girls on Friday. So tomorrow I am cooking and I bet Mum is too! xxx

  14. I'm so glad to see Miss Scout taking her supervising job so seriously. Those proteas are stunning. I am suffering from a bad case of gorgeous flower envy. Lucy certainly has a gorgeous kitchen window view with that lovely swan.
    This past week has seen some baking done for us and to share with our neighbour who has just got out of hospital and has been getting so many visitors. I thought some cake, along with scones, jam and cream, would help out and keep everyone happy. I made some of the same for us and Bluey has been in scone heaven.
    I cut up an old doona and made drawstring bags from the fabric. These bags go to the hospital and are filled with a hand knitted trauma teddy, colouring book and pencils. The bags are given to little people going through a tough time. The bags are not just for patients but any child who needs a little lift. I belong to a group called Graffiti Grannies that make the bags and knit the teddies. Through this group we also make beanies for the homeless and for patients in the cancer ward.
    I picked half a bucket of strawberry guava fruit and harvested ginger this week. I cooked up the strawberry guava with some ginger and made a small batch of delicious jam.
    It was Mum's Birthday this week. I sent her a machine embroidered hand towel for her golf buggy. She loved it and has told me she will have to keep an eye on the towel and make sure it doesn't walk. Some of the ladies will have hand towel envy.
    I emptied all my teaching resources out of cupboards and off the bookshelves. I contacted a number of teaching friends to see if they would like them. The resources were piled up on the pool table. By 4pm all the resources were gone. I am grateful that these resources are going to continue to be used.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Life is chilly good.

    1. Dear Jane, We had a cold week too. And stormy! The fire has been roaring to keep up.
      At Lucy's there are also Brolgas. I really want to be able to get photos but so far none of my photos of them are much good. I will keep trying... the swans are easier to get closer to.
      I love that you are making the kits for the hospital. That is wonderful. I also love the name of your group!
      I saw how pretty the strawberry guava looked! Gorgeous!
      It is really fantastic your teaching resources went on to help someone else. They will really be useful and that was a great idea.
      I am trying to dry some proteas to retain their colour. It is an experiment. Others are in water to enjoy. I am LOVING them and my house filled with flowers. What a lift! Have a very good new week! With love

  15. Dear Annabel,
    You still had a busy week as I know about hauling and piling limbs for burning! Just look at Scout! It is good you got them burned and then rain on top of that so no risk of fires from sparks or hot ashes.
    I had to look up your proteas but they are beautiful. And oh to look out a window and see a swan on her nest! What could be more dreamy?
    This week my list is not very long either. It was mostly taking advantage of good grocery specials. Besides what will be used in the upcoming week, I was able to add canned pumpkin, sugar, lentils, and powdered milk to my pantry, all purchased very cheaply. The discount produce place had a 5lb bag of potatoes for $1, so I ended up with 45lbs for just $9. Next week will see me canning, freezing, and dehydrating them.
    I packed food for our trip to town so that we wouldn't eat out. All meals were at home again this week, except for one meal at a friend's house. I baked cookies to take.
    I had a few freebies this week, including a few clothes for John and a big stainless steel pot. I will set this aside for soapmaking.
    Colton built me a canning stove for the porch using a free but old and very dirty stove we were given a few months back. He removed the stove top and put it on a stand he built out of the old chicken coop lumber. I love it! He has also been taking eggs to the station to sell and the guys are lining up and wanting more. It looks like we will have an easy selling outlet.
    Another small thing I am doing to save is I have cut back to just one cup of coffee on most days in order to reduce my sugar and caffeine consumption. This also means I have to buy coffee, cream, and sugar less frequently. It is the small things that add up.
    I hope everyone has a lovely week!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Well done on stocking up while the prices are really good. I feel powdered milk is very wise to have and it keeps much longer than the expiry date says if kept cool and sealed and in a dark place. A soap making/detergent pot is so good. I am using mine for both soap making and when I mix up laundry formulas.
      I thought your canning stove was brilliant and could be handy in other ways and circumstances too.
      Wow you have ready customers at the station! How easy is that!? That is just so handy. If you get regular customer you are set!
      I think you had a very good week! With much love


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