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 19 March 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 20th March, 2020.

I can barely believe the week we  had.  Probably all of us!  I am going to post later or tomorrow everything to do with the pandemic and the fall out.  Each day things have escalated so much here, not just in news we hear, but I mean right here on the ground.  
Right now I will think about the good things of the week and what we were able to achieve.
Andy and I were both sick for a few days.  So it wasn't the best week ever!

Some of the ways I did manage to built up our home and feather our nest were:

It was Chloe's birthday!  She loves Aplaca's and I found this planter.  I got some of the cuttings I was given going in a small pot and placed them inside.   And I made cup cakes instead of a birthday cake. They looked pretty and hard sparkle also!

I had little packets of icing roses so I can't take credit for those!

I made a big pot of chicken soup as it seemed like the best idea in light of how we both felt.

Then I made a tray of cornbread to go with it.   Usually I make this up as muffins.   But I went for the easiest option!  

This is really good with soup and makes it a bigger meal. 
It is 2 cups polenta,  1 3/4 cup SR flour.  (I used gluten free.)  100g butter or oil, 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 eggs and optional... a cup of creamed corn.   Can be made as a loaf or as muffins.   Bake in medium oven until golden and skewer comes out clean.   It is nice if it is a bit brown and crunchy on the edges. 
It is good with butter!

This week I worked through more apples and make batches of apple puree.  It is so nice and I have frozen lots.

Then I started on the figs my sister in law gave me.  For dinner we had figs with cream cheese, wrapped with prosciutto.  They were beautiful.   I made jam to give to my sister in law to pay her back then lined the rest up on my shelf.

Also I made a batch of Sticky Fig Balsamic Vinegar.   I went through many recipes and finally used the recipe I always do which is this one here by Mimi...   Home made sticky balsamic glaze.  This recipe is so good.  This turns an average salad or pizza into something out of this world.   I fill mushrooms with it and bake them....  many uses.   This batch I just added a dozen figs and at the end blitzed them.  It is really good! 

I got four bottles but one was already in use!

My neighbour gave me a bag of glorious rose fabrics.  Some are newer, some are vintage and some are furnishing materials.  Oh my goodness I love them!

So many possibilities!
I made a tray of gluten free scones.  My freezer has been a bit low on gf things that I can have. 

So I guess I am doing what I always try to do and make hay while the sun shines.  A day here is still the same with happy chickens and animals and pumpkins growing over the fence. Black cockatoos making a lot of noise but that is a happy sound too as they sound like they are having a lovely time! 

But when I went to town it was a whole new reality.  And I know this is just the beginning of a long haul.  So I say make MORE hay while you can.  Take every opportunity to get ahead, be very watchful and think.   But more on that tomorrow and I will hope like last weeks post we can all help each other. xxx


  1. Ooh, I LOVE that top, upholstery fabric, it's gorgeous, lucky you!
    Hope you're both feeling better.

    1. Dear Su!

      Isn’t it lovely to have such beautiful fabrics to work with in these frightening times!
      May the Almighty be our help, our shield, our strength, our everything!


  2. This a a lovely post Annabel, thank you! Happy Birthday to Chloe. I will try the cornbread as well, in our house soup is only accepted as a meal with nice bread to dunk in it! The fabric is lovely, I'm sure the furnishing fabric will be put to good use in the cottage makeover.

    I hope Lucy is feeling much better now and that you and Andy are on the mend.

    I finished a cross stitch for my daughter this week and bought a few new patterns that I've had my eye on for ages. I saw someone had a sale on their patterns and said something like 'use your fingers to make something instead of scrolling news feeds' and I decided that I would follow her advice. So I started another one, and have plenty more to work on after that!

    Best wishes everyone
    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen!

      So much has changed in the world between your comment and this reply!

      May the Almighty bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you, and give you His peace.


  3. Dear Annabel,

    I am sorry to hear that you and Andy were under the weather...hope you are feeling well, now, and that Lucy is, too!

    That alpaca planter is so cute! What a great idea for a birthday gift.

    My mouth is drooling over the fig jam, etc.. I love figs, but they aren't exactly something that grows here!

    You are so right that everything has become so surreal and literally overnight! Like you say, life at home goes on as usual...trying not to check the news too many times a day! But each day something new closes, and we keep hoping that we've planned accordingly! Luckily hubby can work from home and was told to do so since Monday, so in some ways we will save heaps of money, which is good in light of everything happening! Started some seeds, did some yard clean-up, keep working on various housecleaning projects and crafting projects...these are all grounding and useful things to keep doing. And going for walks!!! So glad to live in the country. I bet you are so thankful to be where you are!!!! All our love from here to there!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen!

      Thank you so much for your comment! It sure is lovely to be home when there is plenty of space outdoors to work in! I get the idea that many in the world are battling cabin fever.

      In the space of a week, strange things now seem fairly normal. We look for patterns, and do what we can to prepare basics. The seed suppliers are battling stock shortages, and time delays in filling orders.

      It is lovely that you can keep home activities running. This is a busy time of working according to priorities!

      May the Almighty be our help!


  4. You're a good Mama, Annabel. What a darling Alpaca planter -- I'll bet Chloe loves it! I saw your lovely pan of cornbread...that's what we had today! And a pot of zesty Vegetable Beef soup. We've been getting wonderful rain, here, so soup it was! The fig jam looks ooooh-so-good. Figs, cream cheese and prosciutto: Yes, pls! Mimi's recipe sounds great, too. I love the thought of your peaceful farm home and the happy animals. Town is a different story. Working/praying to keep that precious peace in our homes. I love what I read on Coffee, Tea, Books & Me: Peace is a Person. Praying for you and yours. Love, Mary in San Diego

    1. Dear Mary!

      Thank you for your comment!

      May we all bring direction and peace into the lives of those around us during this difficult, difficult time!!

      Thank you for your prayers.


  5. Hi Annabel, it has been a crazy week here too on the east coast of NSW. Amazingly, in our small coastal town police were called in every morning this week to supervise the early morning shopping period at the local Woolworths. I'm astounded. I was so lucky with my grocery shopping this fortnight; I felt in my spirit to go a few days earlier than I normally would have and I was able to get everything that I needed at Aldi, bar toilet paper. (I still have a some at home, so I am feeling lucky) A day later quantity restrictions were put in place and friends were telling me of driving across suburbs, going to multiple stores just to get the basics. My husband and son have also been unwell this week, but thankfully after some home remedies they have both improved coming into the weekend. Even though I have a well stocked pantry and freezer I have been spending a lot of time choosing to cook in a different way where I can, so I can extend the life of my stores. Hope you are feeling better soon! Jodie 💐

    1. Dear Jodie!

      It is wonderful that your shopping worked out for you! ..... Reports today, closer to me, were that shelves were bare again, and there was a queue outside a bank. Prices had gone up. ..... I, too, am glad that my shopping turned out well when I had the opportunity to get to town.

      We will all be more flexible, more confident cooks after this! I hope you thrive in your challenge!

      Thank you for your comment!!


  6. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds!!

    I am out in the marketplace more these days, mustering up window cleaning work. Dad and I couldn’t help smiling to see office workers carrying large packets of toilet rolls back to their offices in their lunch breaks because the shelves in the supermarkets are largely bare in that section.
    I suppose it is funny that someone who denied me work, because they were only employing backpackers, was looking for toilet paper, too. I had none to offer. I have been finding the bush ways much better! Ha ha!!
    I am appreciating the stories that Vicky has told us in the past. I remember the quote, “Money was hard to come by.” I realise, now, that it is much easier to buy something than it is to sell something, or earn the money. One new, small shop owner is even offering to barter with me!
    On paper, we may wonder how we get by, but the miracles are there every day - when we trust our steps to the Almighty! ...... I took some savings out of the bank, and it turned out to be the perfect amount to pay for work on my car!!

    Be encouraged!


  7. This post gave me some comfort today Annabel, it's good to see life simply ticking over, business 'almost' as usual.

    I've had a topsy turvy week. I myself was unwell with a virus (not Coronavirus) for a few days, then my son came down with it, and was home from school for 2 days. I was booked to do a course today, but it (understandably) got cancelled, which threw many plans out the window, and then I read an interesting article last evening on why the Coronavirus is more worrisome than regular influenza, it explained things so well, but it also dialled up my concern factor.

    I can't wait for the week to be over, and to start fresh next week, not that "The World" will be any better by then, in fact things are likely going to get a bit worse before they get better, but I just need a fresh start.

    I felt spiritually compelled to deep clean my kids bedrooms this morning, I damp dusted with a small splash of bleach in warm water, changed bedding, vacuumed and wiped over windows and tracks, then I tied back the curtains and left the windows open wide all day, it's been a warm, sunny day here, and with the sun shining in hard, and a light breeze blowing, it felt good!

    Take care of yourself and your loved ones in the best way you can.

    Love from Cheryl

    1. Dear Cheryl!

      Yes, following that still, small voice is vital in these times!! May we all learn to hear it!!

      I hope you can now take another deep breath, with another week at a close, and see your direction clearly in front of you!

      Thank you for your comment!


  8. Dear Annabel,
    I am sorry you and Andy have not been feeling well.Happy birthday to Chloe.what a cute gift! The cupcakes are so pretty

    California is now closed. The governor has ordered everyone to stay home. I think this is good. Hopefully it will help stop the spread.
    Isaiah 40:31
    May God give you peace and wisdom

    Much love,

    1. Thank you, Patti!

      That is an encouraging scripture ..... “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength ....”


  9. Uncertainty and changing times. I’m a nurse in a hospital setting. Information and requirements are changing daily or more often. Get your rest. Try not to worry. Our mental health is important too. Keep in touch with the ones you care about. Appreciate the positivity on this site. I’m a poor gardener, but need to put more effort into it this year. Figs don’t grow here. There is one cookie (biscuit ?) in USA that has figs in it. They were my Uncles favorite and a special treat when I used to visit.
    That fabric is so you. Your neighbor already knows you well. Every time you post food, I feel like stopping in for lunch.
    Redoing our will. Durable power of attorney etc. Actually started working on this before the virus so not as morbid as it sounds. Our old stuff is outdated so update was/is needed.
    Sheila USA

    1. Dear Sheila!

      May the Almighty be a hedge of protection around you and your fellow medical staff in this battle.

      Enjoy the beauty in this blogsite!!

      Thank you for your comment!!


  10. Hi Annabel,
    Sorry to hear you and Andy have been sick, we caught a bug here too. My iron levels came back as very low and my doctor said she couldn't understand how I even cope! I'm now on supplements. I think my level being so low has affected my recovery because it's taking me longer than everyone else in the house to get better. Thanks for the reminder about cornbread, my youngest loves it so I'll have to bake some soon xx

    1. Dear Mel!

      It is so lovely to see you here!!

      I hope that you are getting stronger, slowly but surely! May you find the treasures in these challenging times!!


  11. Annabel I am so sorry you and Andy have been sick and hope you are both on the mend :). The alpaca planter and cupcakes are divine that you made for Chloe for her birthday and I am glad you are making hay while the sun shines using the figs and apples for more meals and treats in your home :).

    This week we were concentrating on getting all things done in the home before DH went in for his pain management back surgery (radiofrequency ablation). We got everything done that we needed to do.

    DH is back home after yesterdays surgery and is doing well and is reporting far less pain in his legs too which is a blessing. I had a hard week after being taken off thyroid medication for a month and put back on them but now I have taken some tablets I am not feeling nearly so tired. We got through which is the main thing :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $97.50 last week in savings.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a double batch of chocolate chip and coconut biscuits,a single batch of chocolate brownies and 2 loaves of bread in our bread making machine saving $36.10 over buying them in the supermarkets.

    In the gardens -
    - Amended soil in a number of garden beds and topped up the soil and planted bean, turnip and snow pea seeds and seed potatoes in the garden beds.

    Listings and finances -
    - Paid an extra mortgage part payment saving time and interest on our loan.
    - Listed 10 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Bought 2 RACQ Wish e-gift cards for fuel and groceries saving 5% or $5.90 on usual prices.
    - Managed to find self raising flour and toilet paper to purchase after going to varying stores to stock back up on what we used from our stockpile here. Still need to find some more flour but we have a good stockpile if not for a while.
    - Saved 50% or $39 on buying a 2 burner camp stove on a click and collect promotion.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna!

      I hope that you and your DH are recuperating well, and taking the good out of this challenging situation.

      Your gardening sounds lovely, and your regular steps toward your goals are satisfying to note!

      Thank you for commenting!


  12. Hi Annabel what a beautiful peaceful blog - I haven't been on here for a while. You are very right when you say we are being labelled "hoarders" when we have always budgeted , stocked, supplied for our families. Can I please have the gluten free scone recipe ? Trying to cut down on our reliance of white flour as it doesn't agree with DH too much

    1. Hi thank you so much! Whatever scone recipe you usually use that you like... just use GF flour. You will need to adjust maybe to a bit more go by the consistency. It is harder work to mix it so I use the mix master. I dont use special gf recipes just swap out the type of flour. This means you can use all your favourite recipes. I hope that


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