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 24 October 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 25th October, 2019.

This has been a week of getting stuff done.  So it has been my kind of week!  Some of the things were the kind of things you can't just do yourself as you have to wait on conditions, other people, equipment or whatever.   So planets must have aligned as several big things were achieved this week when all these things lined up!

The first one of the biggest bon fires we have had.  It was a giant mess in front of the workers cottage.   And it will be the last fire we can burn as it is getting too dry now.  t was exactly fire number 40 for the year.  We have done a LOT of clearing up around the house and surrounds.  This number is on top of what we did when we arrived last year!
At the end of all this we are still surrounded by trees but not dead ones and we have cleared a big space around our house.  When we arrived trees were actually touching the house.  Fires are our biggest threat.

On top of that there were two trees well beyond what we could handle and we had professionals come in and remove them.   If they fell they would go straight through out roof. In a storm or fire there were a danger.  As much as I love trees this is where I draw the line.   So this was a whole day job on Wednesday and I am so glad it is done.   Now for the massive clean up.  We have 20 tones of hardwood also.

I always feed the workers.   I used some of one of my fruit cakes to take out to them.  This is why it is so handy.  Fruit cakes keeps and whenever you have the need you can slice it up!

My hands were full with animals.  This is the morning crew waiting for bottles.  One calf is missing.  He is always last to turn up.  He is like that kid who is late for school every morning!

I decided to wean the oldest calf that I am feeding (Loui) and led him with a bottle to the paddock with the big kids.   This was fine.  But in the evening little Georgie would not drink his bottle.  Nope not interested.  Now he is normally a piglet.  So I knew right away that he was upset over his constant buddy not being there.   I went out three more times to offer the bottle but no he stood and sulked.  I figured by morning his conviction/protest would have dried up plus he would be hungry... so I gave up. 
In the morning everyone drank their bottles.  But not Georgie.  He stood where he and Loui always drink there bottles TOGETHER.   My heart sank a little as I felt  really bad and this wasn't  helped by Loui bellowing across the paddock.  I held out until lunch time whenI could't stand it any longer and made a bottle and let Loui back into the little paddock.  Just like that Georgie drank his bottle.  After that he was hungry and wanted more. 🙄  After that they ran off happily together.  So they will have to be weaned together which I think is another three or four weeks.

Next drama was little Freddie the lamb.  He has had a rough life and I just got him drinking well, eating well... and the calves sucked on his ears and made them sore!  I felt so bad.  Then he had a cut on his head.   I don't know if the calves could have done that... anyhow I was horrified and brought him inside and applied antiseptic powder to his sores and he has had to go in a seperate yard.   I re apply the antiseptic powder every day but everything is looking good now.  
Then I decided he is lonely and I moved Eddie (the goat) in with Freddie.  This was partially brought on by realising Eddie is going to get out of his paddock pretty soon.  I realised this when he started jumping on feed bins and then the little shelter.  I was feeding someone else and he couldn't wait.  He helped himself to his bottle, selecting the right one too. 

Ok so this made perfect sense except to Eddie. He cried and cried and cried and cried.  I thought surely he will give up?  No.  It was dark and I couldn't take it anymore and went and got him and carried him back to the calves.  Then he ran off happily and hasn't made a sound since.  🙄🙄
It just goes on and on.  Yes, it could be a childrens book!

So little Freddie follows me around a lot so he isn't lonely. 

This has all really illuminated for me all the Bible passages about The Good Shepherd and similar references.  I really never fully appreciated them.  With my small "flock" if one is missing you go hunting for them.  If one is sick you sit with them.  If anything is wrong with any of them I get very upset!  If they are all good and happy I am happy!  
Today was hot and I looked out and Freddie was laying down right in the sun.  I thought he was dead!  My heart just sank.  I ran out and he looked up at me and he was fine!  I moved him into the shade.   
So now I get the Scripture.  The eye is one each one of us individually.  The pain of a loss is great.  Your heart loves the saddest, weakest and most problematic ones! 

So now down to business.  Some of the ways I built up my home,  got ahead, added to the pantry etc are:

I had a wonderful get together with Wendy.   We did some trading and a lot of talking!  I was so happy I could take her lots of eggs as she is a fabulous cook.  Wendy found me two pure wool blankets in an op shop.  She also gave me two whole big boxes of jars and bottles and a bunch of rhubarb.  It was so much fun to get together.

While in town I visited a little op shop.  I found a vintage kitchen scale for $5 and a long piece of cotton lace for $2! 

The scales are so handy and really go with my kitchen! 

In the garden I moved a lot of little tomato seedlings that have come up from last years cherry tomatoes.  I also potted up a heap to give away.  I will grow them up to a few inches high first.  I have a kind of sunroom entrance to the kitchen.  I am gradually using it more as a greenhouse.  

Through the window you can see a little of my veggie and herb patch.  Beyond that is our front lawn. I want to set up more places to use this area to start off seeds and seedlings. 

I used up some eggs and spinach from the garden and made an impossible pie/quiche.

I didn't get any crafts done but instead I started going through everything I made this year and making up presents.  Each has a label with a name.

This is taking a surprisingly long time to do.  But as I complete each one (they need cellophane like the one in the back) I am so happy!  I hope to get many more done in the next few days.

In the workers cottage Andy pulled up a filthy and disgusting carper.  Underneath is polished floorboards! 

I also planted more sunflowers, radishes, and have a windowsill of seeds coming up.

So that was my week and I am so pleased with some of the biggest jobs of the year being out of the way now. That is a good feeling!

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your home, get ahead, stock your pantry or freezer?  Anyway you can get ahead is good!

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, your animal tales are just so entertaining! I love reading about your adventures with them! That's a very good analogy about The Good Shepherd, they way you explained it really puts it into perspective. I'm still in the midst of doing a deep fall cleaning. I have one more week that I can work on it after this one and then I have to move on to something else. I'm 99% finished with the food part of my pantry so things should start to move more quickly now.

    1. Dear Patsy, I saw how your pantry is looking! It is beautiful! I could study that all day as I can see thing you have made and preserved and how neat you have it all. It is a good project!
      It was not until I had my animal collection that I personally felt how a shepherd of a small flock would feel. You really do watch over them.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  2. How fun to read about your animal antics! I love learning how to wrap presents to present them so pretty. I have saved cellophane from the roses hubby brings me but where do I buy t? Does it come in a roll? So nice of you to take fruitcake and drink out to the men working on the trees. I would love to find a vintage kitchen scale. That was a great find. I am currently working on a hexagon table topper. Thank you for sharing. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, I buy rolls of cellophane from the cheap shop. It also comes in folded pieces but the rolls are better. Then you can buy cellophane bags in all sizes too.
      I am thrilled with the scale! I have wanted one for ages too! I hope we get to see your table topper when you are finished! With love

  3. Always love to hear about the animal antics. They are so funny!
    Those floorboards in the worker's cottage are quite a find!

    1. Dear Earthmother, The carpet was so bad! I expected just particle board underneath as it is just a prefab building. But not! Good floorboards, already polished. So probably whole house is the same! This is so good. Instant improvement and no expense to replace carpet either. Little by little we make improvements now on what we call the out buildings.
      I cannot believe what the animals get up to. They are such a part of my day and we have gone gone past a year of being here... my empty yards have all come to life! Have a lovely Sunday! With love

  4. Aww, Annabel, this is such a sweet post/story about your precious animals! I just love it! And they always look so happy and adorable in all the pics you've shown now and in the past! You sure are a good "Mommy" to all of them! :) They are lucky!
    When I had my precious little white kitty (she was my little angel), I liked to tell her that she needs to be grateful that she was predestined to live with us. (Tee-hee)
    Unfortunately, I lost her a few years back and still miss/love her. Animals have such a special way of climbing into our hearts, don't they? :)
    Have a wonderful week coming up.

    1. Dear Sue, Thank you so much! There are just sooo many animals that need a home so if you can take another cat (or dog or two of either!) then do... iy will light up your life! There is such a need. It is such mutually beneficial deal! You have a beautiful Sunday and I hope we both have a good new week! With much love,

  5. Annabel what a beautiful set of scales and length of lace for such a cheap price. Bless the beautiful animals for having their preferential pals to be with and from experience you cannot change their minds no matter how good our plans seem at the time :) .

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $98.62 in savings this week :).

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a batch of condensed milk, a lemon cheesecake, a double batch of choc chip and coconut biscuits and a double batch of chocolate brownies saving $61.72 on buying premade commercially made items in the shops.

    Home spring cleaning -
    - Finished deep cleaning and spring cleaning the lounge room and it now sparkles.

    Internet listings -
    - Listed 20 homemade items on eBay on a free listing promotion saving $33 on usual prices.

    Free items -
    - Received a free 80 g sample of pine nuts for taste testing at a supermarket saving $3.90 on usual prices.

    In the gardens -
    - Weeded 4 garden beds and replanted some lettuce, beetroot, basil and corn seeds that didn't come up.
    - Dh spade edged some garden beds, I raked up dried leaves around the yard and DH ran over them with the catcher mower to shred them. We will use these in combination with dry glass clippings to mulch the gardens with.

    Water preservation -
    - We continue to use ours and the neighbour's grey water to water the mulberry, fruit trees and some lawns with to save on town water usage.
    - Our outhouse is also getting good use to save on town water usage as well.

    Wallaby feeding -
    - I continue to prune shrubbery to feed our swamp and other wallabies as well as give them bread ends. Our swamp wallaby is no longer dribbling as his face abscess has burst by itself and he has put on condition with all the shrubbery I have given him.

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, It is really good you can use the neighbours grey water as well as your own! It is a lot of water! I am always amazed by just the water from the washing machine. A tub for the dish washing also produces a surprising amount. Fruit trees like lots of water too so this is great.
      I am so pleased your poor wallaby has improved. I hope you have plenty to feed him. Around here everything is looked at as food. I pulled up spent broccoli plants and some went to the chickens some to Laffie and the sheep. They scoff everything. Every leaf and crumb feeds someone. Left over lambs or goats milk goes to the dog. The wallabies will probably eat many like bread etc.
      Your lemon cheesecake sounds beautiful. You have got me thinking to make one as I have lemons.
      Thank you re the animals... that is funny they have "minds made up" and they are stubborn! It is sweet they have friends and their own ideas.
      I hope you have a very good new week! With much love

  6. I love hearing about all the animal antics! They are just like a bunch of toddlers! Forty bonfires. That is amazing how much you have accomplished!

    I have been working with my Dad on healing naturally with oils and supplements. He has a disease that is terminal without any treatment available. Well, what we are doing is working! He was falling 10-12 times a week and now he has only fallen once in the last month! The emergency workers who had to be called every time to lift him up got worried when they did not call and came to check on him!

    A very sad thing happened this week for our church. One of our 16 year old boys died in his sleep from a seizure. All our hearts are broken as he was such an amazing teen and had such a heart for serving others. I just cannot imagine what his family is going through.

    Hubby is loading the van and then we will pack the coolers and off we go to the lake for 10 days. It is supposed to be a rainy weekend but we will be tucked up with books and nothing to do but eat and rest which will be lovely.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Dear Annabel,
    I love reading about your animals. You really should write a children's book! You could include little verses of scripture that relate. That is something I would love to read to John!
    Well, October has gone from no-spend to low-spend, to very expensive unfortunately. First the good things... I was given two huge boxes of canning jars from the ladies at the thrift store. I have made friends with them and now they know what I like and am looking for. They would not let me pay them so I am going to take them jam and eggs as a thank you. We have been selling eggs as well and I had a successful weekend at the farmer's market selling jams, eggs, and cookies. I'll be adding some more non food items as the holidays get closer.
    I have been wanting an Instant Pot but it has just not worked out for me to buy one. Then a few days ago my mom told me she got a new one (bigger) and asked if I wanted her old one! Of course I said yes and she gave me a cookbook to go with it.
    Colton has been staying overnight out of town for school to save on gas costs. With him gone more, we really wanted to go on a date. With a no-spend month, it also needed to be free. I packed cookies, iced coffee, and one of our favorite board games and we went to a very beautiful park. It was shaded with huge trees and we sat at a picnic table. We were the only ones there and it was so lovely. We had the best time!
    Now for the not so good. First, our pressure pump on our water well broke. Thankfully we were not without water long as the repair man came out the next day and fixed the problem.
    Then Sunday I came home to a half eaten chicken in the yard. It had flown over the temporary fence we have up (while the shed is being built) and apparently my livestock "guardian" dog took advantage. This was so upsetting and we were not sure if we would have to get rid of our dog. She is a great family dog and we got her breed specifically as they are supposedly the BEST at guarding chickens and livestock. We decided we would keep her and start building our tall permanent fence. So that was another big expense.
    Also, we had taken our RTV to the repair man as it wouldn't start no matter what Colton tried. I realize that is somewhat of a high class problem, but it is used on the ranch every single day and a very useful vehicle. We got the call from the repairman and he said we owe him $750. Speechless.
    Then, a few days ago, I went to get something out of the freezer and everything inside was thawed. Of course that is terrible and I thought just one more thing that needs to be repaired! Thankfully we did not have much food in in yet so not a massive loss. Then we realized it was not broken. John had shut it off.
    So I'm really hoping November shapes up to be a better month! But it is like you say, that is why it is good to get ahead. As upsetting as it all is, all our needs are met because we have worked so hard to save. I cannot imagine all of these predicaments without being prepared for them. Now to start building up again.
    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Oh wow I am sorry all this had happened to your family at once. We enjoy park dates more than most any other. In the summer we often go for breakfast and enjoy it so much. Here is hoping for a better November!

    2. Dear Kelsey,
      I am so happy you made friends with the op shop ladies. Taking them eggs and jam is a great idea. I always have tried to donate stuff, get to know the ladies and be helpful and let them know what I am looking for. They are so helpful. And the canning jars are just wonderful that was so good!
      It is so great you got your instant pot. And the book to go with it... that will help you get the hang of it. And it was lovely to have a date night and for free!
      I am sorry about your chicken. It is hard with dogs. I do not trust Scout with the chickens. We have a fenced enclosure with a roof. I am free ranging the chickens sometimes for a few hours but I keep Scout away for that time. Then I have foxes to worry about!
      I am sorry about such expensive repairs. They say things happen in threes. It seems often the way!
      I am always checking the freezers. I hear of disasters all the time. It seems freezers in sheds and out of sight are very prone to being turned off, someone unplugs them to use the power then forgets to plug them back in and so on. I am glad you didnt lost too much! My new one has a light on the bottom to show its on. I am checking that light a few times a day! Apparently some come with an alarm but we dont have that. I hope you can re arrange things so little fingers cant get to it!
      Kelsey you are right... you work hard to get ahead and cop with the unexpected. You have done well and you will begin to get ahead again. God has a way of replenish things for us too.
      I hope the new week is off to a good start for you. And I was going to say your dog may protect you and the yard and animals from predators... so if the fence is good the dog could still be an advantage. With much love,

  8. That is just too sweet that the animals all love each other and get along so well. You have given them such a good life. Just makes sit here and say Aaahhhhhhh.

    You should think about writing children's books. You have the perfect script - day after day!

    Sounds like a lovely week. Blessings to you all.

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      I tell the girls all these things about the animals. They love it. And they have a ton of animals of their own too. It is lovely. They love them all!
      Have a very good new week to you too! With love

  9. Dear Annabel,

    I am glad to hear that you were able to get those trees removed and your burning all done. I sympathize, as we finally got the big weeping willow fully cleaned up, sorted, and branches burned just this week. It is a very big job and we have had piles around forever needing to be burned, but too windy or wet or whatever, so as you say, when the planets align, things get done!

    I love reading about all your animal cute!

    We have had a houseful, here, but they have gone off overnight on a little trip, so I am madly cleaning while I briefly have an empty house. Waiting for mopped floors to dry is a perfect time to catch up here! :)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and am so glad to know that you and Andy are doing much better.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Probably your visitors are gone home by now. I can imagine you mopped into a corner and having a few minutes to post! I have an empty house tonight too and it sure is a time to get things done uninterrupted.
      Yes the tree mess is no joke.. huge. I feel we will have firewood for 250 years lol. But it had to be done and I am so glad that is ticked off the list!
      I hope your new week is off to a good start! With much love

  10. You have your own little menagerie there, Annabel. How cute they all are...cute and hungry!! Your gift boxes look amazing too. This week, I did a lot of baking - I made banana breads from some over-ripe bananas I was given, baked slice and choc-chip cookies and pumpkin scones to use up some leftover mashed pumpkin. I also made an oven-baked tomato risotto, which is really simple, from arborio rice, vege stock, tomato passata and herbs from garden. I made lemon butter too which everyone here loves. It disappears quickly!! So, I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen this week. Meg:)

    1. Dear Meg, Your baking sounds beautiful and you did a lot of using things up! Isnt it amazing what we can do with things that need using? The risotto sounds delicious!
      Lemon butter is so good. we all love it too. I do hide a jar in the freezer sometimes... it comes out just the same which is amazing. You did very well and were very productive! Have a beautiful Sunday and new week! With love

  11. Dear Annabel, I love hearing the animal stories from Bluebirds Farm. My daughter loves them too! While I was waiting for her schoolbus to arrive Monday I found a baby magpie who had somehow come out of the nest a little too early, he cannot fly yet. So he has joined the menagerie at our house and keeps his new Mum (DD) very busy searching for worms and insects etc. She loves him and calls him baby. He is a very noisy, demanding baby lol. We have had such extremes of weather, Thursday it was 35 here and today freezing so we have lit the fire again! Despite this we have been picking lettuse and silverbeet everyday. My treasure of the week was finding the Weekly Times cookbook (with Magpie on front!) at an opp shop for a bargain price. My niece and her dog Daisy are houseguests this weekend which is lovely. Have a great new week everyone, love Clare.

    1. Dear Clare, I hope the little Magpie will do well. Also a good fun pet! I think the country cookbooks are so good! That was a great find.
      It sounds like you will have a nice weekend! Watch that dog and the Magpie though!
      We also had a really nasty hot and windy day. But now we have had a cool change and it has been raining, yay!
      Have a beautiful weekend! With love,

  12. Dear Annabel,
    I, too love reading about all the farm animals and your adventures with them. Their personalities are just adorable. Your gift boxes are just gorgeous.

    This week has been a productive one. A new Michaels (somewhat like your Spotlight) opened not too far away and my curiousity got the best of me, so we set out and went. They were having a huge special on cardstock. The pads of 12" x 12" which are normally $20 were buy one and get two pads FREE. Free is definitely my favorite price So I bought one and got the other two. They also had the 8.5 x 11 on special that if you bought 2 you got the third free. If these items had been bought at full price it would have been $78. However with the sale and military discount the total cost was $27, a saving is
    $51. There's no need to even think about cardstock for at least another year or more. Envelopes are not a problem as I make my own out of scrapbooking paper, pictures from calendars, magazine pages, which is quite fun to see how each one turns out.

    I had some Amazon gift cards and decided to use them for dried food storage. I wasn't able to dehydrate or freeze much from the garden this year, so by doing this the pantry was greatly added to at no cost to us. We are in the no or very low spend zone right now as we will be getting a new roof on the house and out building next week. Our goal is to rebuild as quickly as possible what we will be spending.

    I also made up the SOS soup mix from Frugal Measures, using arrowroot instead of cornstarch. I will be using my own bone broth in place of the water and boullion that it calls for because their are too many ingredients in that that don't agree with me. Just having the powdered milk and arrowroot mixed together will be a time saver.
    All in all it's been a good week. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessing, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I have heard of Michaels and also JoAnnes. I would love to go in either!! It sounds like a great outing to go see the new store. And good thing you did! What deals! I am glad for you as I know you will put all these things to good use.
      Cookie more and more I think dried food is the best thing. It takes up so little room and lasts so long. It was great yo use your gift cards for such a good investment.
      A new roof is a big project! But if it is needed then it is important. I know you will replenish the savings. I hope it is not too much disruption during the week.
      I think bone broth has so many benefits. So that will be so good.
      I am glad you had such nice and productive week. I hope you get lots of crafting time to put your new things to use. You are probably working on Christmas cards... this is what I need to be doing too! With much love

  13. Annabel,
    What a great week you've had lots more progress and things falling into place. Those trees were just huge! Your animals are funny little critters and I think their antics more than make up for the work. I always so no more, but my heart just can't take it when something needs loved. That is how we've ended up with so many over the years. And it is the same here nothing is wasted since it can be animal food, used for the garden or compost. Lol my dad's name was Edgar Frederick and people used to call him Eddie Freddie haha!
    This week we too have ripped up nasty carpet in the basement, but no nice floors underneath. Still it is a big improvement.
    I made and canned 7 quarts of beef bones broth and the fat that came off of it I mixed with birdseed and sunflower seeds and will cut it into squares to put out for the birds.
    I did a mini course on essential oils and got a $30 credit to get oils with.
    I got a nice pair of thermal boots to review that are $120 a pair. I still have a pair so I put them up as a back up.
    My aunt sent me alot of books and some brand new milk bottle jars.
    Todd found Rick's old motorcycle jacket so I cleaned it up for him since he wants it. Lol he is amazed his dad used to be that size.
    I cut and dried a few herbs and cut and used up a few more cabbages, but there is still a few left.
    I have been getting nice samples in the mail and setting aside the ones that are not just single use to make a small gift basket or stocking along with a pair of slippers I got free using Kmart cash. My nephew has a girlfriend now so I'm thinking this will be a nice gift for her.
    The rest is just the usual make do and chores.
    Have a great new week!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I dont think I can say no either. If I am over run the best I could do is tell people dont tell me! But I dont even think I can do that!
      I am so glad about those beef bones! And I love the way you feed the birds with the fat too. Very kind.
      I am please about the course and oils. Truly the more I learn about essential oils the more I love them. They have helped me a lot.
      Wow on the boots!! THAT IS FANTASTIC. When it is snowing you will be glad of them!
      That is very cool that Todd can wear the jacket! Hope he can wear it for many years!
      A little hamper is a lovely gift. I like the sound of that.
      You did a lot and saved a lot. Your Aunt giving you the jars was wonderful too! Well now lets hope we both have a good new week! With much love,

  14. I love reading your animal stories and seeing each one’s pictures, thanks for sharing! -Amy

  15. Hi! I just discovered you and have had the most wonderful time reading of your adventures with your little group of animals. What a kind and tender caregiver you are to them. They know they are greatly loved!


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