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 5 September 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 6th of September, 2019.

This week was a bit of a slower week and I was out three days.  Somehow this seems like I was out 300 days as far as the house is concerned!   It is Spring now and I already did some veggie planting.  Just a bit of a start.  I hope to add each week and end up with a very full garden and a staggered harvest.  My first eight tomato plants are in plus five capsicums.
We also have rain!   This is the best thing we could have and the biggest help of anything. No work we can do equals rain.   Despite this I started Spring cleaning today!  
The last two days I was just catching up on housework from being out and about.   Today I am actually getting stuck into extra things and hope that between now and the end of the weekend I will have lots done and a few things sparkling.   It can be kind of hard to get going but once you get into the groove suddenly everything looks like it needs a wash or re arrange.  Then the momentum begins!

Some of the ways we got things done, got ahead, saved and added to the pantry this week were:

For Loui we had cleaned out the animal houses and all this mulched down hay went around the fruit trees to help them through summer.

By the way Loui is doing really well!   And he and Scout have made friends.  At first their relationship was one I had to watch.  Now they are buddies it seems.

Dad told me Loui can grow to be 900 kilos to one ton. That is 2204 pounds!  With what he drinks now I would say he is on track!

I didn't have much thrift store luck but I did stock up on bedding suitable for new born lambs.  When I needed it last I went though a lot drying cold and wet babies etc.  So this added to my animal pantry.

I was given lots of lemons.   I have been squeezing one into water each day and I also have loads of eggs so I will make up some lemon butter.  It means I can make butterfly cakes and tarts and many good things.

Another bargain I got was at the post office.  They often have amazing deals.  It is a CWA (Country Womens League) recipe book and they have amazing recipes.  Like all old fashioned cooks it is wonderful food with simple ingredients. It was $5 so I was pleased with this.

Before the rain came we had two big fires.  I lit up our biggest fire on the last day of winter.   It was a huge fire of many tree stumps and the its we could not handle and were heaped up by the tractor.   We are up to almost 40 fires for the season.   Future years won't be so many.  It is just that no one had maintained this area for many years and we are trying to be fire ready.

Our family had a special Fathers Day. Mum made a big afternoon tea and so many family members came and it was beautiful.

I had oranges and eggs.   So I made a heap of cakes.  I froze some, took some to the girls, used one as a little gift.  This is the recipe Winter Sunshine Cake.  As I was mainly making it for children I removed almost all of the orange peel.  For a more grown up taste I leave most of the peel on.  The colour is beautiful.

One lot I made as cup cakes with snowflakes on top.  This is because Frozen is the in thing with the girls.  Harper immediately understood my "artistic expression" of icing sugar being snow!  😊

Harper has officially changed her name to Elsa.  (she is 4)

I caught up with my friend Wendy and apart from a lovely time we did some trading (as usual) and I took her eggs, Bay Leaves and bits and pieces and she gave me satin fabric remnants that are divine thick satin.  I have big plans for these!  Wendy also collects interesting bottles for me as we always need those.

I had a big cook up of a spaghetti meat sauce.  It made so much and was delicious.  I took four containers to Lucy.  She sent me a photo of Scarlett eating it.  You should have seen her face!  But boy was she enjoying it!   I added two meals to the freezer and we had two spaghetti meals as well.

Now that I am catching up I hope to get my Nana series back on track.  Researching for it though I have been learning learning learning!

I hope you had a good week.  How did you save, get ahead, build up your pantry?  Did you learn something new?   There is much to learn.  And motivation to do it... this week I heard so much more about drought, farmers having to leave the land,  towns and farms with no water supplies at all.  To think this won't further affect food supplies and prices would be crazy.   My friends in other countries are experiencing the same.  So learning new ways to save, make meat go further and things we can make ourself is all very helpful.

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. You certainly keep busy, Annabel. We have catastrophic bushfire weather warnings out in our area today and I have been in contact with friends in the US getting rain from Hurricane Dorian and we would like to share some of our weather with each other :-) We need some rain and they would like it to be dry. I pray everyone stays safe.

  2. Hi Annabelle, I look forward to your Friday reports! You have the talent of making everything look lovely. I have my little fall garden planted. Two foot rows in my raised bed cold frame. Hoping it grows and lasts till at least Dec. with my cold weather crops. I am so tired from the sepsis that I get discouraged but my friend came over the other day and we worked on our quilt bindings sitting on the soft comfy couch. It is so much more fun doing things with a friend. Sounds like you and Wendy are perfect for each other! Thank you for sharing. Nancy

  3. You are a busy bee. I loved reading about your week.

  4. I have been so busy this week. I’ve been out to the house every day. I managed to do the first coat on a picket fence, it looks so much better than the plain treated pine! I also removed two ugly old garden beds, and racked the soil flat, and cleared out an area beside the garage, I found an enormous snake skin in the process and nearly died of fright!! We’ve organised quotes for flooring, and made a small start on sanding the doors ready for painting. Plus there’s the running of our own home and family to keep up with, and I worked my regular one shift a week. So I have been flat out! This will likely continue in this way for many weeks to come, but every time I do another task, I know we are inching closer to the completion day. We have a painter friend coming next week, so with any luck one of the big jobs will be finished!

    Glad to hear you have had rain. We had rain predicted for this week, but it never came, it’s so dry, and it got to 32 degrees here today, this barely being the first week of Spring.

    Anyway have a lovely new week, I look forward to reading your old fashioned living post when you get to it.

    From Cheryl

    1. Dear Cheryl, It is fairly sobering finding a big snakes skin. We have found some too but smaller! The fence will look lovely. The first coat is by far the most difficult. So you are doing well.
      It is incredible that it is 32. I hope there are no fires near you. What a dreadful start to Spring for QLD and maybe northern NSW?
      Thank you I am working on my Nana posts and learning so much in the process! With much love,

  5. Hi Annabel and you have done a lot this week and the CWA recipe book will be wonderful as all their books are. You baking as usual looks wonderful and good that you have cleared up so much of your property before fire season gets here. Rain I am dreaming about coming our way shortly in abundance :).

    We spent two days away from home too this week so what we got done seemed disjointed but we got there.

    Internet savings -
    - Dh rang up Telstra about our wireless internet & got more data for $15 less than the current plan we are on.

    Purchases -
    - Found skin on thigh cutlet fillets on 1/2 price clearance at Woolworths for $3 a kilo and purchased 3.352 kg. On special we also purchased a 2 lt chocolate milk and all up savings on the chicken and milk on usual prices was $10.91. We are trying to stock up our meat freezer with preferably all 50% of more meats.
    - Ordered an e-gift card from RACQ for fuel and saved 5% or $10.53 in free fuel.

    Finances -
    - Paid near on an extra payment of $175 off our mortgage.

    In the gardens -
    - Planted some beetroot, lettuce and silverbeet seeds after adding fertiliser to the soil in the vegetable gardens.
    - DH cleared some fallen ironbark branches from trees on our back boundary and cut it into firewood but there is still more to do.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful week last week and will have this week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I think this is your first vegetable planting unless I missed some. I have followed all your setting up and getting ready. Now here we are in Spring! It is exciting to be planting. And the firewood is good. We are still doing the same!
      You still achieved a lot despite being away two days. You always find new ways to save. R negotiating deals and packages is so worth the effort! Have a very good new week! With much love

    2. You are right Annabel this is the first vegetable planting since we purchased our new home and more to come next week too :). So excited. You can't have enough firewood is our motto.

      DH has learnt a new skill in negotiating and he did a good job as it doesn't come naturally to him.

      Have a great week :).

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  6. Dear Annabel, that Loui, how mischievous and cute his little face is. I have had a great week catching up on many household tasks including a really big pile of ironing. Your Father's day celebration afternoon tea sounds wonderful. We visited my parents too and loved our visit with them. Have a great new week, love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      Well done on your week and conquering the ironing also. After your Spring cleaning and re arranging you are getting heaps done. I am glad you got to visit with your parents. I bet you took cooking too! Have a good new week to you too, With love

  7. It always seems so strange to hear you talk of the opposite season than the one we are in. I am happy to see fall come along but it is still so very hot here. We had many family members and friends in the way of the hurricane but so far everyone has fared well. We had a lovely trip to visit our middle son and his family. We drove 500 miles and packed snacks and drinks and lunch for the first day. We came straight on through to avoid hotel fees but I would have happily stopped on the way home as we were tired. We had a wonderful time with our two year old grandson who is named after my husband. Since we have been home we have been catching up on all sorts of house work and errands. I am seeing small rises in prices everywhere. We are watching carefully for the deals. Our regular laundry liquid has not gone up on price but the bottle has gone from 50 ounces to 36! Huge bottles were on sale at Sam's Club so we stocked up there and saved a lot. We have eaten all our meals at home since we returned from our trip. It was wonderful to go and see them but there's no place like home!

    Have a good weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I am glad your family and friends are doing ok so far with the hurricane. It is lovely you had the trip to see your son and family.
      Shrinking packet sizes and numbers is big here. Same price less stuff. It is very tricky!
      I love getting home after a trip. And my own bed! Have a good new week! With love

  8. Loui is adorable....Hope you will get all your energy back and be full speed ahead in no time at all. Cleaning up outside today from the hurricane . Lots of debris knocked down everywhere as we have lots of trees around us....Always something to keep us busy.

    1. Dear Tammy, I am sorry about the mess but glad your home is ok. After a storm here the mess can be massive. Whole trees down and branches down. It can be continuous. At least we end up with firewood from the clean up so I dont mind so much. Have a good Sunday and new week! With love

  9. Dear Annabel,
    Love Loui's face; he is so cute. You are acquiring quite a few pets and they are all lovely. What a blessing you are for them.
    Very strange year for gardens, I hear. Our Elderberries flowered prolifically, then when the green berries started the entire growing stopped; very odd. I have heard a similar story, from other gardeners, concerning various fruits and vegetables.
    I made Bone Broth last weekend, so froze several quarts and a couple of pints of that. I shared some with my daughter. It is so nutritious and costs so little to make.
    I have quite a few herbs that are dried ready to put into jars and vacuum seal, plus parsley, comfrey, mint, rosemary, and basil ready to cut and dry. This year the herbs did very well and I got several cuttings, but the late heat has done many of them in and they are no longer viable for cutting.
    I am going to make some herb infused oil for healing creams and some herbal tinctures for this winter. I have so much comfrey growing in the yard and since it has been cut down once the leaves that have grown back are gorgeous.
    If anyone wants to learn - well, just about anything about how to make home products yourself economically, then Rain Country Homestead is a good place to go. Heidi is a wonderful teacher and every post is full of great information. Currently, she is trying to perfect making homemade bread using a fermentation starter in place of yeast.
    I fermented some cherry tomato/basil/garlic balls and they were scrumptious. Fermentation is very healthy and provides such good healing for leaky gut.
    We are continuing on in evaluating our food storage, medical supplies, and watching, carefully, the events of the world unfold. Most people don't have a clue how much food it would take to feed even two people for a year; let alone an entire family. It is wise to be prudent and prepared, as we all know the Bible tells us.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, You have done wonderfully with your herbs. I am trying to get my hands on comfy but no luck so far. I stated watching Rain Country Homestead thank you for the suggestion!
      Glenda your observations in the garden... it seems many have had less then their usual harvest including farmers and home growers alike. It makes me think to make the most of everything and put up all I can.
      The bone broth would be wonderful. I agree on it being so nutritious. We can really make it pretty much from scraps. It is in the stores now for about $8 for a small container.
      Have a lovely Sunday and new week. With love

  10. Hi Annabel.
    I so enjoy your Friday posts and look forward to reading them.
    I'm looking at turning one of my indoor lights into a beautiful chandelier by adding crystal beads. Will send you a "ta-da" pic *if* i think it looks okay. Wish me luck.
    Please could you give us an update on Ricky. I was thinking just recently of how you rescued him from his lonesome life.
    Thank you lovely and hope you get to enjoy a restful weekend.
    Kim in Brisbane

    1. Dear Kim,
      I would love to see your chandelier! I am sure it will look beautiful. Strings of pearls also can look beautiful on a homemade chandelier.
      Ricky is great! When we got here there was a huge aviary here in the old shed. It was just beautiful and when we moved he got an upgrade into this. Each day he gets spinach, parsley and almonds, apple cores and whatever I have plus sunflower seed. He also likes sausages and chops! We think he is between 40 and 50 years old. We know he would die in the wild which is why we have kept him as he is used to being kept. But he is no longer lonely at all. He might outlive us! They can get to 100! With love,

    2. Oh thank you for the update Annabel x.
      What a lovely life he has. Much like all the other animals that now reside at Bluebirds Farm 😊
      Love from Kim❤

  11. Hi Annabel
    So sorry to hear about the new calf. Our animal babies don't take long to get into our hearts do they? It's so upsetting when they die, no matter how long we've known them.
    Been doing lots of overtime as we are so short staffed at the moment, but I'm cracking on with my Christmas cards when I can. I'm looking forward to your next Nanna post

    1. Dear Kim, Thank you! It is hard being soft hearted sometimes!
      The overtime will help your savings so it is good to have it for a while as long as you dont get too worn out. And it is lovely you are working on Christmas cards! I am working on a Nanna post tomorrow I hope I get it done! With love

  12. Annabelle
    I would be happy to pst some comfrey root to you. Is it allowed to be sent from Victoria to SA under quarantine laws?

    1. Dear Lulu, That would be amazing. I have been looking for it for so long. I even ordered it at the nursery and still nothing. I think you cant post from Victoria however I have a way around it... my daughter Lucy and family... their farm is in Victoria.Each week to drive there I cross the border by about one kilometre! That is all! If you would email me at I can give you the address and see what I can trade with you as I would like to send you something in return. Thank you for this most kind offer! With love

  13. Hi Annabel
    I know what you mean about days out, we have had a couple of really busy weeks and it certainly impacts how the house looks! That's great that you've started planting! I'm hoping to try some new vegetables this year, and to add more varieties of tomatoes as they were so good last year.

    I love that Harper has changed her name lol. My daughter did the same when the movie Moana came out. And that was when we moved, so we kept meeting new people and she would introduce herself as Moana lol. She was quite convincing!

    Having so much on lately has really made me realise how much I love being at home, but I dont feel like our house reflects that at the moment. I know with 6 kids it's never going to be a show home, but I just dont feel like anything is making much progress at the moment. This week looks like it will be much quieter so I'm hoping to really get stuck in and make a difference. It's cold again, so staying home is the best!

    Have a lovely week
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, I will have to ask Lucy if they have watched Moana yet. And it is so funny about the convincing name change. Must be a thing. Harper is very convincing on this too!
      Jen half of it is how the house FEELS... well this is how it is for me. I can feel on top of things or utterly disorganised and it drives me crazy. Just things like how after school and bed time go... these are big things when the kids are at school. Being busy and out a lot really sets me behind. I keep promising not to let it happen! For you there would be sports and kids parties and things all the time. It is a handful. But you are doing well. I hope this week is turning out much quieter. Even one good day home can help... I had that today and I got heaps done! It feels good.
      Good luck with the veggie garden too. This is the best part of spring... planning! With love

  14. I'm not sure if adding to my heart meter counts, but we watched our 2.5 yo & 17 mo grandchildren from Wed evening to Sunday afternoon while their parents (& 3mo baby sister) went on a little vacation. Farmer & I took off from our city jobs each one day and then were both here Saturday & Sunday. The "babies" love their Pappo so it was some great quality time.
    As for frugal ways, we are still eating out of the pantry & freezers as much as possible. We picked up our butchered beef yesterday. Both my freezers are filled to the brim with the 1/2 pork, 10+ chickens and now the beef. I will be picking up 8 butchered whole chickens today and taking them to our son's this evening to store in his freezer. It is such a blessing to not have to buy much meat in the stores. We only get hams once or twice a year and bacon. We don't care for the way the butcher cures & smokes his. We have a friend who gets exclusive hunting rights on our land. He gifts us with a case of bacon each year. I haven't had to buy bacon in years. Another blessing.
    We have another busy weekend planned but next week I hope to finish picking the wild plums and make up the plum jelly & plum butter.


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