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, 10 January 2020

Feather Your Nest Friday, 10th January, 2020.

What a week we had!  Truthfully I have lots track of what happened and on what day.  But after having to evacuate  (due to the fires)  each day was still a bit of a worry as it was a big fire ground and much of it was smouldering.  So every time the wind came up there were firefighters here and farmers attending to everything so the fire would not start up or get away again.   Some days we had so much smoke. It was thick. Visibility was low and it smelled so bad.  Today is the first day I can say the fire is out for good.  We had some rain!
On Sunday Dad came to see me.  We had a cup of tea and talked over all that had happened.  We both concluded we were so lucky.  No one was killed, even Dad was amazed by this.  We all have our homes.  Our animals were ok.  We were so very lucky.

During the week we went on as normal as much as we could.   Some of the ways we caught up, got ahead, added to the pantry etc included:

I began harvesting parsley seed.  I have so much parsley that has gone to seed and it is so heavy with seeds it is bent over.  They are dry now and ready to collect.  I snip them off and bring them inside to dry a little bit more.  Then each head of parsley which contains a couple of hundred seeds goes into a little paper envelope.  I have stamped a bee on each go these.  This gives me little gifts I can share and they fit in a regular envelope in the post.   I have made up about 50 envelopes so far.
I also planted a lot of the seeds to establish new rows of parsley.  I cannot have too much.  It gives me a gift,  something to trade, something fresh each day for the ducks, chickens, cows and sheep.  And to use in the kitchen of course!  I can also dry it for gifts as well.

I planted a lot of the succulents I had last week into spots in the garden. They filled a few empty areas.

I made an Impossible Pie to take to the girls (and to use up a few eggs!)

This week I finally made Meringues from scratch.  I am sorry to say I have never made them before and they were so easy.  I am trying to add new ways to utilise all the eggs.  I use a lot of eggs in baking.  I keep Mum and Lucy in eggs.  I give some to my neighbour and some to a charity.  Scout eats eggs a few meals a week...    Anyway I thought meringues and pavlovas would make great gifts and contributions to meals when we are asked out etc.   I took a big tin of them to the girls and they fell in love with them.   

I started a fresh batch of Coffee Liqueur.  Between the meringues and the coffee liqueur my popularity seems to be rising.  haha.

I planted a lot more sunflowers, plus 2 types of beans and filled up my garden some more.

With three bananas that needed to be used up I made a couple of dozen little cakes.

Tomorrow is a big day. Paddy, Chloe's Alpaca,  Blossom and all the lambs are being shorn.  Tonight Luke came to get my sheep.  They were loaded onto his trailer which was pretty easy.  A packet of biscuits and they will do anything.   My "lambs" are not really lambs anymore! 

The sight of a packet of biscuits causes a near riot as Eddie wants some and the calves come running too.  Now when Laffie runs towards me she is pretty big and she is strong.  Sometime soon their love and affection is going to get very heavy! 

In the op shop I found some nice drinking glasses and got them to start the cottage glory box.  If I collect things as I find them I will have all that is needed when the cottage restoration project is over. 

Our local supermarket was not directly affected by fires... the road was not cut off and there were no fires near the town.  None the less the shelves were bare.

All around the store there were signs to explain the lack...

I think very much about all the towns with closed roads.  I heard one town finally got food today as the army got it there.  If your supermarket was closed for over a week and the roads were closed would your family have plenty of supplies?  

Tomorrow is exciting as it is shearing day.  I will have lambs wool and Alpaca!  Soon I will be ready to begin spinning.   After shearing they will all get biscuits.  Like a jelly bean after going to the doctor... only for sheep.

I hope you had a good week and were not impacted by fires.  How did you increase your pantry and preparedness, add to your savings and build up your home? 
When something goes wrong you are so grateful for all the times you stored away supplies and things that would be helpful when the power goes out.  I am still thankful to have had a battery operated fan to keep cool with.  Now we are adding other things that would have been good and I now have emergency bags packed in case we have to leave at a moments notice again. Lesson learned. 

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. What a scary time for everyone glad you and your family are safe and well. Your Meringues look you say they are super easy to make. Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Dear Kathy, Thank you! Next time I will try and make pretty little ones with a cake decorating tool. Have a good weekend! With love

  2. Hello Annabel, I'm glad to hear all is well in your area! Could you please do a post on your emergency bags and their contents? This would be so beneficial to know and be prepared.Blessings to you all from Robyn S.A.

    1. Dear Robyne, Ok I will work on that as I have some preparedness posts coming up. This was really my weakest areas by far! Thanks so much, love

  3. I am so happy that you and your family have managed to escape any damage from the fires. I pray so many times a day for your country to get rain and the fires to m end.
    Your lambs are getting so big! My goodness.
    I prepare for emergencies here as well. I would have no problem if store shelves were empty or shut down for an extended period of time. That is why we prepare. So many people just don't get it.
    Take care my friend and have a blessed weekend.

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you! I am replying on Wed. 15th. Even today we woke up to so much smoke. It is just drifting smoke for the magnitude of the fires although there is no fire nearby.
      I have learned many tips from you with preparing. In fact I would say overall that having USA friends has taught me a lot especially in regard to preserving. I love having friends who do get it! With love

  4. I am so glad to hear that you and yours and all the animals are safe. I have thought of you and prayed for you many times since the last update. We continue to pray as our news is full of the devastation in your country. I hope you can have a restful weekend.

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you for praying. What a time our country has. Rain is arriving now in many areas and I think the fires will soon be over AT LAST! It is going to take years in some places to recover I think. It is just so immense. Thank you for your prayers. With love

  5. So enjoy reading your blog from central Illinois in the states.

    1. Thank you so much for posting Jan and welcome! xxx

  6. Annabel, continued prayers for all those affected by the fires! I love both your seed gifts and the coffee liqueur. I added that to my gift idea list for my mother-in-law. Here is how we saved & lived well so far this month:
    *I cancelled our Amazon Prime subscription as the online shopping has slowed after the holiday purchases. I also returned an item that didn’t live up to my expectations and received a refund.
    *I didn’t give up on a stain in a shirt I like to wear both at home and out and about. It took a couple of tries but finally got it out with Dawn dish soap so now the shirt is back in service.
    *Used save chicken bones and organic vegetable scraps from the freezer to make delicious bone broth and then used that for chicken soup.
    *Cashed out my Ibotta earnings for a $20 Amazon gift card and also received a $5 credit from Amazon due to bad service with a delivery. I was also able to earn $3 in the Ibotta app by placing my Walmart grocery pickup order through it.
    *My husband used free materials to work on the addition to the workshop. We hope to be able to make products to sell as well as possibly do cabinet making from home.
    *We accepted the gift of cow manure/old hay that has composted down into a beautiful soil additive for our new garden. I am excited to grow fruit & vegetables this year!
    *We updated our budget and set financial goals for this year. We have started January with progress made towards our goal so we hope to maintain and see the improvements throughout the year.
    *More on my blog here:

    1. Dear Jenny, What a lovely blog you have! I will be a reader now. You had many good savings! I am interested to see what you come up with to make and sell from home. This is very good. I feel that we all need multiple income streams and that now is the time to get them up and running.
      Actually I would apply this also to the vegetable garden etc too. I do everything possible to improve the soil in the produce garden. It was great you got free manure.
      Thank you very much for posting and welcome! Love

  7. Annabel, I'm so glad to hear that your family and farm are okay.
    Continuing to pray for your country.

    1. Thanks so much Laurie. Thank you for your prayers. I think we have rain coming soon and it has started in some places. Finally this might mean the fires are put out! xxx

  8. Annabel, I am so glad that you all are safe. It must feel so nice to have a bit of the normalcy that baking and homemaking can provide in times of stress. Have fun experimenting with your meringues and pavlova. My family has been following the fire news from here in Ohio and I just can't wrap my brain around what that must feel like, it is not something we worry about here. Our prayers are with your family as I feel like we have gotten to know them through your blog and for the country as a whole.

    1. Thanks Sarah. When there is stress I cook and clean! It does help. It has just been incredible across Australia... this has lasted months now. I never remember anything like it although we have lived through some terrible fries before. Finally it looks like rain is coming and maybe put an end to it. Thank you so much for your kind words! With love

  9. I am so happy all has turned out well for you and your family with these fires. Can't wait to see your wooly babies after their haircuts

    1. Dear Tammy, Thank you! I have some great photos of the shearing. Oh boy it was funny. And now I have fleeces! I will post these all on Friday! With love

  10. I had to giggle over the biscuit bribe!

    Glad things have settled somewhat in your area, what a start to the year, and indeed the decade!

    I am not near the fires, but I noticed Coles in our area was really low on some fresh produce, they had signs up saying they had low supplies due to the drought! I’m beginning to comprehend how fragile food security is. I didn’t plant a veggie garden this past Spring or Summer because of the drought, we are on town water, but I hate to use it even if it is for food production in times like these, and we are on water restrictions now, so that makes things hard. I think to future proof our personal food supply I’m going to have to invest in water tanks. I’ll put some thought into that in the coming weeks and figure out what can be done. I feel we are on the brink of major food price hikes in this country, especially meat, which makes growing some of our own produce even more of a priority.

    1. Hello, I'm from the city. I can't sow seeds for food etc. People think that the drought won't affect them in the city but it will ! Bread will go up because of wheat, meat will go up, everything will go up !!

    2. Dear Cheryl, Even the PM said on TV we are all about to feel the price hikes. It is inevitable. I would say water tanks are an extremely wise investment. Whatever you can do I would. We are spreading things across different areas. Chickens are a very good investment. Eggs are good protein. And a barter item too! I extend the garden and improve the soil etc. I established pumpkin patches... all this depends on space too as Sonia says. And she is right about rising costs. Also I just build the pantry as I can. If I do see a good deal I buy up! Being summer I look out for fruit and let everyone know I preserve. All these things add together to, as you say, better our own food security. I really agree with everything you said. With love

  11. Miss Anabel, I read your blog all the time and love it.
    I Have been praying for God to send you some rain.
    It is so awful that your all going thru this,heart breaking to see the suffering there. May God keep you all safe.

    1. Dear Savannah, Thank you very much for praying. And God is sending rain! It has started already in some areas and more is meant to be coming. IF we get this I will be so grateful!
      Thank you so much, with love,

  12. Dear Annabel, was I’ve been reading all your blog posts but not posting so here I am at last :-)
    So thankful you , your family and hones ate safe .
    You are often on my mind as I see family members not coping and needing our help which if we had not been careful ourselves , would have been much harder .
    As I write this our daughter and family are moving in indefinitely .
    Your meringues look perfect !
    Take care and have a rest ,
    Lots of love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Thank you for thinking of me when I know you have so much on your own plate. Things are ok here and looks like rain is coming. What a relief this will be so I am hoping we dont miss out but Vic is already raining there. I will try my meringues next in pretty shapes. I hope things are going well with the big move in. With much love

  13. I've been praying also, for all of you and the fires. It's been a mild winter so far here in Middle USA. But today it turned and we had cold wind and just a little snow. But it reminds me to mentally take stock. I keep my vehicle above 1/2 tank of fuel always in the winter. I need to get my emergency bag in there in case I get stranded. We have plenty of food here in the Farmhouse and fuel for the generator if we lose power as well as a kerosene heater. We could survive quite a while and our neighbor across the road heats with wood so we could combine efforts and survive even longer.
    Other stocking up: I found a spiral cut ham for .98/lb (saving $2 p/lb!) I got a medium sized one for Easter.
    DS2 who lives locally wants to do a garden with me again. He hasn't had time to help the past 3 years so I've had to let it go to grass.
    Looking forward to enough to can or freeze.
    And finally: Those meringues! :)
    Thanks for all your writings.
    Kay in Nebraska USA

    1. Dear Kay, Thank you! I am so glad with your winters that you have alternative heating for emergencies. This is very sensible. It seems to me those of us in farmhouses are very practical and think of these things. And that you are well stocked up. While we get it so hot I cannot imagine anything below zero!
      If you can get that garden in this will be great and hopefully give you additional supplies. You had very good saving on the ham that price is unheard of here! Thank you so much, with love

  14. Hi Annabel,
    Yes even our animals need a little pick me up after a treatment.

    Thank goodness the fire is out. How long has it been since your parents faced a bad fire in their neck of the woods? It really is distressing to see the fate of so many of the native and stock animals. After being on hyper alert for so long, it may take some time for your body to settle back down. Allow yourselves this time. You may experience some shock and feel tearful. Totally normal. Cry if you need to. Have a relaxing bath, a good meal with family and friends, whatever works for you. When the acute phase is over, the chronic stage can throw us. So take it nice and easy. Thanks once again for posting in such difficult times.

    Love Mandy(NZ)

    1. Dear Mandy,
      It is a fair while since the last bad fire. Maybe 8 years. I will have to check with Mum but it was a big fire before Christmas and came close to Mum and Dads house too. Usually lightening starts them.
      I did feel a bit like having a panic attack there for a while. But I am good now. And we learned a lot. So I am trying to put what we learned into practice while it is fresh in my mind.
      Thanks so much for your kindness. We think rain is coming... oh I hope so! With love

  15. Hi Annabel so glad the fires are settling down in your area. We have a nasty fire just south of Bundaburg. This one is nowhere near us but depending on the wind, we might end up with the smoke.
    I will be interested to see your emergency bag. When you mentioned last week how this was an area to work on I had a bit of a moment. I have an emergency hospital bag for Bluey but I have nothing for myself. I have addressed this and we both have a 'Go now' bag packed and easily grabbed out of the bottom of the linen cupboard. I have also added 2 purchased bottles of water to these bags. I noticed with a lot of the news reports of people trying to get out of affected areas that they had to wait for long periods of time. Many people were saying how they had no water.
    This week I made pouches for wildlife. I have been given a contact of a wildlife carer in the bushfire areas who is desperate for items for native animals.
    I have been carding and dizzing fleece into roving, ready for spinning. The weather has been hot and humid so this has been happening in the early morning or after dinner.
    I keep praying for good rain to fall on the fire effected areas.
    Life is hot and sweaty good.

    1. Dear Jane, I was really convinced I would never need a bug out bag. mmm I also have pretty well packed on. It is actually three small bags to grab. I am glad you have organised something for yourself.
      I am so glad you are making the pouches. I am nearly finished my crochet one. It has pillowcases are removable liners.
      Your spun wool is out of this world. I hope to be following your lead soon!
      Thank you so much! With love,

  16. Glad you are all safe Annabel. This is such a disastrous time for our country. I think the good thing is the generosity, that so many of folk are demonstrating, both here and internationally. Hopefully, when we are through this, there will be some lessons learned. :( Sydney has not been really impacted, so far, except for air quality. We have had a little rain, but not much.

    Got to say, you are much more successful at meringues than moi :)

    Take care xxx

    1. Dear Sue, I agree with you... I have seen such generosity and help. When I see this I am proud to be Australian.
      I did see the air quality was terrible and for Canberra too. We have had terrible smoke here across the paddocks. It gives me a headache. Finally I think rain is coming... this would really clear the air too! Many thanks! with love ps try Nigella Lawson meringue recipe.Perfect!

  17. I am so very glad your family, homes and animals are all intact! It is frightening when fire gets that close! 5-6 years ago a combine started a fire which raced towards our farm and was close enough that the sheriff's deputy stopped by to make sure I knew what was going on. The got the fire put out about 100 feet from where our property line is and about 1 mile from the house. Because it is over an hour's drive to get to a big grocery store, I usually grocery shop 2-3 times a year, so my pantry is well stocked. I could probably go a year without shopping for anything but the pickings would get mighty slim at the end of the year!! For people in the city, most of them wouldn't last much more than a week without a grocery run...that is scary! Praying for rain for Australia!!

    1. Dear Farm Quilter,
      Oh you did have a fright with that fire! That is close.
      I am glad to hear you have a well stocked pantry. I have roughly an hour to the store also. I operate on good lists!
      Many people do not have more than a few days food or water. This is plain dangerous if you ask me. Thank you for your prayers, rain is coming they say! With love

  18. Annabel,
    Your animals must look so different after being shorn, but still adorable. And you'll have a return for your work with the fleece. I love too that your planting more parsley and sunflowers for your animals too. Every bit helps especially since feed costs are going up. I plant extra for mine too, the chickens love spinach and fresh herbs and even berries. Now that I only have one dog less is planted for him. And pumpkin seeds are good for chickens.
    Your meringues turned out nice! Chocolate meringues are really good too and I like a dessert too that is similar to pavlovas, but it's frozen.
    We can easily make it through if the store shelves were empty. I try to never sweat it, but just work around things and have back ups and more back ups.
    This week I earned $30 Amazon gift cards for surveys and was sent a jar of face cream to review that costs over $200. I used bones and veggie scraps to make broth and also made the dog his food. I hung the wash on the drying rack and our ladies are still giving us a good amount of eggs each week. We had breakfast for dinner one night and I made dumpling soup with some and noodles with some more. I also made some dust cloths for me and to add to the gift trunk using what I have on hand.

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I ended up giving the chooks so much spinach. Finally it all finished and I have replanted. This made me realise the veggies are useful not just for us but for back up feed. Even a bit each day is so good for them. The ducks go mad over anything green too.
      You had a busy week and very productive. The gift cards will be so handy! Well done! I am so slow to reply I am sorry there are many kind comments because of the I am catching up! With much love,

  19. Annabel, I'm so relieved to know that the fire is out!! You've been on my mind so very much! I'm glad that you, your family and your animals are all safe!
    When you say the fire is out, does that mean in all of Australia or just in your area? I'm hoping it's out everywhere.
    Blessings to you and yours.
    Sue S.

    1. Dear Sue,
      I am sorry to be so slow to reply. We continued to have smoke even this morning and much of Australia continued to burn including some of our state. Some of the fries have now gone on for months. So we were lucky in a way. However now rain has arrived in some of these areas and we hope for more. Praying this will end the fires! Many thanks for your kindness, With love

  20. Annabel I am so glad the fires stayed away from you and know what the severe smoke haze is like as we had it here too with fires around us. It is so hard to breathe and your eyes water and the smell is horrible.

    I love the look of your meringues and will have to try that here too. Your banana cupcakes look lovely too. I am glad you have been able to get into the gardens and do more planting.

    It has been unbearably hot here so not a lot done outside as we are still waiting for our air conditioners to be installed early next week. We can't wait to stay a little cooler to be honest.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $58.13 in savings last week :).

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked a double batch of coconut and chocolate chip biscuits and made a lemon cheesecake saving $26.80 over purchasing them.
    - Cooked all meals from scratch. Well mainly had precooked roast meats we had in the freezer with homemade pasta salad.

    Purchases -
    - On markdown we purchased 4 x 6 pk of hamburger buns and 1 x 6 pk of wholemeal buns saving $3.70 on usual prices.
    - Bought 2 x shampoo on special saving $0.60c on usual prices.

    Finances and listings -
    - Listed 10 items on an eBay free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual prices.
    - Banked a fair bit more money into our 3 month living expenses emergency kitty bringing us to 19.54% of the way there after buying our 2 home air conditioners + installation.

    Gardening -
    - Weeded one garden bed late one evening.
    - Harvested cherry tomatoes and a beetroot from the gardens.

    Water preservation -
    - Used all our grey water/dish rinsing water to water potted fruit and berry trees and ornamental shrubs around the home.
    - Used all shower warm up water to fill up drink bottles and to clean around the home.

    Have a great week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I cannot wait for you to have the air conditioner. Even one cool room makes just the world of difference. If I have only one cool room it would be the bedroom. However I keep the living area cool in the day and switch to the bedroom at night. This is a life saver when it is extreme.
      Well done on your savings and eBay listings. I hope you get some milder days. Our forecast is quite reasonable this week and I just felt so relieved seeing that. Not just for the garden, animals... but because of the fires. We are all over it!
      Have a really good new week. With much love

  21. Dear Annabel,

    Little Eddie is adorable! I really love goats, they are so full of character and mischief. Mum and Dad are going to have babies from one of their goats (boer) soon. Cant wait to see them.

    So glad you have received rain to put those fires out. Just need it to put all the rest out now.

    Preparedness has been so important this year, and I guess we can all learn something from the fires in our country, and act on it.

    Lots of love,
    Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, I love Eddie. He is so addectionate. He loves the dog. lol
      I am considering a milking goat. Not sure yet...
      As bad as the fires were they have taught us things and the girls now are both upping their preps. Sometimes a good scare is the motivation we need. I this way good can come of it. But I can say this as we have been very lucky and it is not so for others that have lost everything.
      I do hope you will show pictures of the baby kid when he/she arrives!
      Have a good new week... it looks somewhat milder... so I hope it will be reasonable there for you too. With much love,

  22. So thankful you, family and animals are all well! So many of us have stormed the throne of God with our prayers for you, definitely a blessing, no luck involved. :) (((((hugs))))

    We had been doing some winter prep here on our small farm. Many years ago I kept a hoop greenhouse, but over the years it had fallen into disrepair, and soon was so overgrown. My son has taken the time this past week to work on it each day to clear it out and clean it all up. We will be building a new greenhouse this month.

    Since we have had such a mild winter...highs this week around 70*!!!, I ordered 5 elderberry bushes. I created a new planting bed on the West side of the house and planted them all along that side of the house. I plan to add several moveable planter pots with herbs for added interest as right now as they are just bareroot stock and so puny.

    I also put in my seed orders this past week. Ordered all I could from MiGardener and the remainder from Baker Creek. Can't wait to receive Baker Creek's Whole Seed Catalog. Took a look at it at TSC, soooo big! but they wanted $12.95 where Baker's is selling it for $9.99 and free shipping. I ordered some new and interesting seeds this year. Excited to get the growing season going!

    Other than that, I stayed home (except for a run to buy livestock feed) to save money. Hope you all have a very blessed day!

    1. Dear Kath,
      I am very grateful for the prayers and when I see the map of the burned ground it basically went around us. We now know more about the damage to our neighbours and it is pretty horrific. I am very grateful.
      I love that you will have a greenhouse again! I would love to grow elderberry. I am convinced of its health benefits.
      I think it would be glorious looking through the seed catalogues and planning! This week I added some seeds I had on hand to my garden. We are mid summer so I still have time to add more.
      Come spring your garden is going to be beautiful. With much love

  23. Dear Annabel,
    I am so grateful and relieved that the fire is out and that you and your extended family and animals are safe.
    Time has sure flown. It seems like yesterday you were bottle feeding the lambs and now their ready to be shorn. I love homespun yarn and especially alpaca yarn, which here goes for a premium price.
    The meringues look delicious, and are a great gluten free treat. While some add cocoa to theirs I had several cups of chocolate chips to mine, so that when you bite into the meringue it oozes melted chocolate.

    Things I accomplished this week was to take inventory of our pantry and freezers. In the end I am very well stocked and would not have to worry.
    To get ahead this week I made 6 quarts of bone broth, a quart of pumpkin soup, a quart of eggdrop soup, gluten free crackers, chicken in peanut sauce, slow cooker chicken tikka masala, was out of gram masala for that recipe but had all of the spices need to make my own.
    Also made mayonnaise and baked sodium free raisin bread for my husband. I've been working in my craft room cutting and embossing things to make future cards to be part of the gift pantry.

    We continue with our prayers for Australia and all of those effected or working to put the fires out. Wishing all a good and safe weekend.
    Blessings to all. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I cant believe myself how big the lambs are. They still run to me like babies but they can bowl me over now! haha!
      Yes I love how good meringues are and no gluten. What a treat!
      All the bone broth you made and soups... yum and so much goodness.
      Cookie you are doing well and being very productive!
      Thank you for the prayers. We have been very blessed. And now we are told rain is coming!! With love and thanks,

  24. I love meringues and have never made them. Usually my mom or mother in law would make them. Will have to try making some.

    I was reading your post and one thing stood out to me. You are planting "treats" and good food for your animals too. What an awesome thing to do. Keeping them healthy and well fed.

    Praying the fires are contained and put out soon. Take care and stay safe.

    1. Crystal, The meringues are cheap and easy but so popular. I used Nigella Lawsons recipe.
      I am aiming now to plant much more for the animals. Things that I can use in the kitchen or give or trade with OR feed the animals... they give me so many options. Spinach is one. I have so many sunflowers coming up just now. These are also very multi purpose.
      I hope your new week is going well. With love

  25. Hello Annabel, what a brilliant post, thank you. I shall look forward to the post about Go bags. I don't think we need to be that prepared in England. We don't have that kind of extreme weather, but the weather is changing. Maybe you think differently, do let me know. I'm so glad you and your family, land, houses and animals are all okay, it's so reassuring, we're watching the terrible scenes on TV. I pray for Australia, you certainly need rain. Love Mandy xx

    1. Dear Mandy,
      I am not sure with England other than if you live in an area that could flood. Apart from that I feel I would focus on what if you were snowed in and what if the power or transport was out. Either mean nothing in the supermarket. So possibly I would focus on being stocked up. We absolutely do have to consider the most likely ways we need to be prepared in our own area. Also it pays to be observant. Thank you for your kind wishes, with much love

  26. Annabel, I so appreciate your weekly posts and all the ideas you share and discover. There's always something new to learn or ponder...much like reading the Bible, always something 'new' God is explaining or directing in my life. xxx

    1. Thank you Jenny. There is always more to learn. This really excites me. Thank you so much! Love

  27. Dear Annabel,
    I am so grateful that you and your loved ones are safe and that things are settling back down.
    I'm not sure I've ever had meringues, but I will have to remember them for when I'm swamped with eggs. The girls are starting to lay more and more, and I save my scraps for them all week to help them along!
    This week we had all meals at home again. I purchased most groceries on sale and paid for them with a gift card a relative gave us. We also did a stock up at Sam's Club.
    I put together a couple of kitchen gifts this week. One was a loaf of homemade bread and grape jelly for a friend who requested my bread recipe (hand-written recipe included). The other was a basket of homemade bread, cookies, jelly, and eggs. This was for a friend of Colton's who fixed our garden tiller.
    I got a free box of flax in the mail. I purchased some a while back from Costco and when I opened it it was full of moths! Yuck. So I called the company and they kindly sent me a replacement.
    I returned some clothes I had purchased that didn't work out.
    I made more tooth powder and deodorant for Colton. I also tried out a recipe for dishwasher detergent. It gets the dishes clean but leaves lots of water spots, so I will probably switch back to store bought. However, I cleaned the toilet with it and it worked wonders, so no waste.
    Colton cut down a small tree that was growing too close to our patio and competing with a larger oak.
    Our coffee pot went out and we were able to order another one from Amazon for free using points. I also got a reusable filter for it, and Colton got a new saw blade, all for free.
    I paid my quarterly taxes for Etsy. I made a new item for the shop and purchased a few supplies. I have also started up an Instagram account for my shop @springcreekloft. When I had my last accounts, I completely lost focus and then they were hacked so I shut them down. But I have set some rules for myself this time and hopefully it is an effective advertising tool.
    I hope everyone has a good week and stays safe.
    Love, Kelsey

    1. It is beautiful to hear from you, Kelsey! You are such a wonderful homemaker - bread, jellies, eggs, cookies, .......


    2. Dear Kelsey,
      I give all the scraps to the chooks too. They love them. My eggs recipes in rotation are quiche, impossible pie, baked egg custard, baked rice custard, cream brûlée... (yum) now meringues and pavlova (amazing!) custard tarts... I think eggs are wonderful fro children. Obviously I just do normal stuff like poached eggs and omelette too.
      I saw your instagram account right away! This is good as it is free advertising really. I would say post photos of your eggs and chickens as people love them and it will build your following.
      Your kitchen gifts were beautiful! You had a very good productive week! I hope this week is going well. We still had smoke here even this morning but rain is coming! With much love,

  28. Annabel, so thankful that the threat of fire for you has passed and that you received rain. Praying that that will be the case for the rest of your country.

    Your meringues look great. I've never tried making those before but will keep them in mind. What a great gift idea. Also loved your ideas re: the seeds.

    Wishing you and Australia a much better week and progress in fighting these dreadful fires.

    1. Dear Lynn, If you have spare eggs any time do try making these. I used the Nigella Lawson Meringues recipe. I will stick to that now since I thought they were just right.
      I have still been packaging seeds. Next are Hollyhocks!
      I hope your new week is going well! With love

  29. Dear Annabel, praise God in the highest !! You have been spared ! It reminds me of the Psalms that those who call the LORD their God shall seek refuge under his wing". He protects us. He guides us . You are one amazing woman. !!
    You do more in a week than I do in a month !! The lambs have grown well !! I have a hospital ready bag and have my documents ready if I had to flee. Living in the city this is unlikely. But, the more I talk to the less I see are prepared. That's so wise you are seeing the supermarkets are empty. It seems everything has had a knock on effect from the fires. People think in the City it won't affect them but the price of everything is going up ! I have found a local food pantry for $5 I can fill a bag full of groceries. I also think people forget about water. I think it's a blessing you have a fan to keep you cool and great forward planning. Sydney had been so horrid with air quality. I find myself wearing a mask each time I leave my house. The washing had to be dried indoors as the air has ash in it. We are expected to have rain on thursday- Monday. I'm praying this comes as expected. I love your recipes and wish you'd create a folder with all of them. However right now I know you have risen above ashes !! I'm really feeling god is asking us to prepare for what is to come. Add to the list things to do to take the mind off the crisis , be it a word find, cards, etc. Torches a must with extra batteries, and a few huge bottles of water. Toilet paper, and cans of food. I can't grow my own food, but I've started to build up cans of food I could live off for emergency. Thinking of you all, love and prayers. Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia, Thank you so much! I saw some days on the news how bad the air quality was in Sydney then in Canberra. I think on some of those days Sydney had the worst air in the world! eek! You are wise to wear a mask. I have heard people wondering out loud why prices have gone up. Seriously many people dont know where food comes from.
      I do need to work on a recipe folder so I will try to get on to that.
      Thank you for so much encouragement. If you feel God telling you to prepare then do all you can. I am thrilled for you about the local food pantry!! I hope this helps you so much! With much love,

  30. Dear Annabel,

    I am so thankful that you are all okay, and that the fire threat is gone for now! Your meringues are to die for and so is little Eddie! (I might be biased about him...ha! ha!) Just a quick note as I pop in for a brief moment while no one in university is on the computer!

    xx Jen in Ns


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