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 March 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 6th March, 2020.

It seems like forever since last weekend and I remember ending my post with a comment about normal days and catching up.   I did get a few days and made progress to get things under control and even managed to get back to a little bit of sewing.  
Then Tuesday evening I was making dinner and I got a message from my son in law saying Lucy was  "really really sick."  He is not the kind to exaggerate and as she is nearly six months pregnant I just had every bad thing go through my head.  Dinner was cooked so I slapped a plate in front of Andy and said "I'm going."
This was the fifth time in six months I have left the house in minutes.  These days I am basically packed and ready.  I messaged and Kato rang the hospital for advice.  As I was driving the two hour trip in the dark and I saw at least a hundred Kangaroo's and it seemed to take forever to get there.

When I arrived the girls were asleep and Kato got Lucy in the car. She was dehydrated as she hadn't kept anything down all day, even sucking on an ice chip set her off.  I set myself up and listened in case with of the girls woke up.

In the night I heard pitter patter.  Harper appeared with her little torch (flashlight) and saw me.  I thought she might be frightened and think WHY was I there in the night?!  But no she just said "hello Nan Nan Bel!" and I said I had come to look after them as Daddy was taking Mummy to the Doctor. So we made a bed on the lounge and she jumped in with me.   The second thing she asked was if I had brought cup cakes.  I said no I didn't have time this trip.  :)   So that was ok and we had a fine time.  It was hard to go back to sleep as someone was wrigglier than a worm.  
Scarlett slept through the night and she also was just fine and we got ready for Kindy as it was a Kindy day (they go two days a week.)

At the hospital Lucy was on a drip and rehydrating,  they decided it was a bug and she just couldn't keep anything down.  The baby was ok.  When she came home the next day she looked much better.   I did the Mum things and did washing and cleaned the kitchen and emptied bins and did floors and so on.   When everything was good and she was home she went to bed for a big sleep and I returned home.

So I am tired.  But I am so grateful.  Lucy and the baby are ok.  The girls lives went on uninterrupted basically.  I could help.
But now I am going back to hoping for some "normal days!"

Before all of this (and since) I did achieve some things!

After the Adelaide trip to hospital with Andy,  Mum and I finally had a day to visit the girls.   We both cooked up storms before hand.  I made little cakes...

My Basil had grown so I picked a big lot and made Pesto.  I took two containers to Lucy and at home we had Pesto creamy chicken and steak and Pesto meals.

I also made a big spaghetti meat sauce and shared that around and added to our frozen ready to go meals.

Dad told me the apples are ready.  So Andy and I set off for a drive to go and see.   This tree is very close to the ocean.   It drapes over a crumbling old house.  Last year I posted about this tree and the hugest apples I had ever seen!

There were plenty of apples to pick.  These are good cooking apples.   It was also a beautiful day and so nice to be in the sunshine.

Soon we were loaded up...

I did some trading with my friend Wendy.  She found me the most beautiful emerald green velvet, decanters and crystal glasses!!!   I took her three bags of apples and three dozen eggs.  We always have so much fun!   We could talk the leg off a donkey, as they say...

I was able to go to two op shops that same day as I was in town.  I was so lucky!  I got beautiful and pretty flannelette sheets,  several pieces of lovely fabric including a little bit of thick black velvet.  With my sewing projects I am on the look out for fabrics and was very happy.

Even on the way home from Lucy's I called in to my very favourite op shop.  Tired as I was this shop is not always open... and it broke up the trip.  I am so glad I did.   I sat on the floor and went through a basket of materials.  I found about 10 more small bits of velvet... around the size of fat quarters.  There was red, black, navy and green.   A couple of yards of pink gingham and a couple of blue floral cotton.   A millinery flower and vintage platters  (Johnson Bros Australia) ...

Pure wool checked fabric,  card making supplies and waffle weave cotton fabric for kitchen towels.  I was loaded up.  It was lovely!

I stopped in my shopping town too.   Now I have been stocking up and preparing for several years.  But basics like toilet paper,  pasta, rice, sanitary products and more have all been selling out in Australia (and much of the world no doubt) so I stopped.  I am glad I did.  It is on my mind with a baby coming and shortages...

Mum gave me a big jar of almonds.
Dad called in with two types of pink apples and lemons!   Now I really need to get busy on all this fruit!

So I was still able to overall build up my pantry and get ahead in a few ways.  

Each day one of the things I love is checking on the pumpkins.   They have grown and grown.

I have two types.  Butternuts...

And Queensland Blue...

I am not sure how many I will end up with but I can see about 30 pumpkins overall at the moment.  And they are growing really fast!   All things going well this will give us a lot of soups!  And I am picking Zucchini most days also.

How was your week?  I hope you found ways to build up your home and feather your nest.   I wrote a year old series (Pantries and Preparedness) which is in the index and not one week has gone by where I have not encouraged everyone to take every opportunity to build up their pantries and to be prepared.  I have felt it so important.  But this last couple of weeks I have seen and heard things and still thought "am I prepared enough?"   People are literally hitting each other to get some items.  I am considering a post on the current situation.   Not sure on that one yet!

My good intentions to catch up on replies and correspondence have not gone very well so I am really sorry.  I hope over the weekend I am able to properly catch up with everyone.  xxx


  1. Oh my goodness, what a time you are having! My week has been topsy turvy, planned things haven't happened, but plenty of unplanned things have. I'm grateful for our pantry, we certainly have plenty of everything we need and if we can't get out, or milk suddenly disappears we have powdered. The garden is still producing, and the freezer has fruit and veg and meat. We have both topped up our meds, I do this coming into winter anyway, so it's a few weeks early. The slow cooker has been going constantly with pasta sauce, and the dehydrator is going flat chat with onions. I'm grateful for both, we often overlook them as nothing special, but they are both full of good things our bodies need so seeing full jars on the shelves makes me smile. I hope you get time to slow down, catch your breath and relax a bit this weekend. Love, Cath xxx

    1. Dear Cath,
      I also filled Andys scripts and got as far ahead as I can. The crockpots full of tomatoes sound beautiful. I hope tomorrow I will have crockpots full of apples! Your pantry and garden sound wonderful. Your preparedness is already there ...what a reassurance. The wise woman looks ahead!
      It is beautiful Autumn weather here and so nice. I have had a domestic day with a bit of this and a bit of that. So nice! With love,

  2. It is so good to be able to help our families like this. My son and Daughter in law and 3 grandchildren are moving from interstate to be back with us in Perth, this month! We are tremendously excited and looking forward to being able to help out with them.

    1. Dear Earthmother, Oh you must be so pleased! I remember when they moved. And now there are three Grandchildren! This is very good! For all of you especially the children. Have a lovely weekend, with love

  3. Your week sounds very productive and, a bit, stressful. I am so glad that Lucy and the baby are fine.
    We have been rotating storage foods much better with two more people living here. Plus, there is little waste, at all, as we are all dedicated to using up leftovers.
    We are fairly well stocked up, but John is adding paper goods in quantity to that. It seems that, wherever we shop, carts are full of toilet tissue and paper towels.
    I was shopping at Sam's today and decided it would be prudent to add more toothbrushes to our storage. We have quite a few, but they don't expire ☺
    The shelves were much more bare than I had ever seen them at both stores where I shopped today. It is a shame that it takes a serious contagious illness for people to use a bit of common sense and buy ahead on items used all of the time.
    Have a blessed weekend Bluebirds and I pray that everyone is well.
    Love and hugs, Glenda

    1. Thank you Glenda. I stocked up on toothbrushes too and also peroxide as that is a good cleaner for them. It is really interesting to hear everyones observations from where they are located. A lot of similarities across the board.
      To get ahead with meals I am doing the same and we have very little waste and I can tick an extra meal away quite often. This is another way of getting ahead.
      Have a lovely weekend! W have beautiful Autumn weather and I love it! With love

  4. Oh my goodness Annabel, what a time of drama you have had lately. I hope the coming weekend and week are more calm for you. You proved it really does pay to be prepared so if needed things will take care of themselves without added stress.

    So glad Lucy and the baby are okay now. The girls would have loved having you stay over.

    Such great op shop finds and foraging for apples. You have done really well! I will be calling into my little op shop on Sunday.

    I am a little jealous of your pumpkins, I had not much success this year. The butternuts are so small. I don't think they like the wicking barrel so will change that next year and plant directly into a pile of manure. Mum grows heaps of pumpkins so I wont miss out lol!

    This coming week I will be doing some sewing. I am going to make some washable face masks especially smaller sizes ones for the little grandies. (It is not panic, just preparedness haha!) No one seems to know the full affect of the coming virus, so it is best to put plans in place and be ready should it arrive on our doorstep.

    Thanks to blogs like yours we should have no problems with being prepared. This is why you do what you do, and teach others the skills to do the same.

    Have a lovely weekend and rest up.

    Love Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, The pumpkins do seem to like the pile of manure that is what I have done. So far so good...
      Good for you on making child sized face masks. This is what a Grandma does... we see ahead and act on it. It is not panic at all it is preparedness and a smart move. Being ready ahead is the biggest help, and some kind of reassurance. I tend to feel better too if I channel concerns into some kind of constructive action. I have had the feeling that this is why I have been preparing and this is why I have been writing about it for so long. I never imagined this scenario though! Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  5. My goodness, you life sure has had its ups and downs lately. I bet you do need a few NORMAL days! So glad that everyone is OK.
    Those apples are lovely.

    Blessings my friend

    1. Thanks Cheryl, Yes too much up and down! Give me a nice normal week. I want to get working on my apples as now I have red ones as well. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  6. I'm so glad Lucy's ok, sickness during pregnancy is just awful.
    You had some great op shop buys. I got a lovely largish basket for £1.20, which now houses most of my bathroom towels, 2 cardigans (I do wear other clothing, honestly)for £1 each and a beautiful, deep ovenproof dish, which is the loveliest shade of pink! I did splash out on that though, I paid £1.50 for it!

    Coronavirus has hit here with many cases very local to me. Strange as it may sound I'm not too worried about getting the virus itself, but I dread having to 'self isolate' . I live alone, in a highly populated area and I don't think I could go outside at all and that would be DIFFICULT. I've got enough basics to last, the freezer is full and I got a few little treats, things that I don't normally buy, but I think would be nice to have whilst in solitary confinement. I even have plans for craft/ DIY projects, I've checked that I have all the materials to hand, so that at least I can keep busy if I don't become ill during the 2 weeks. I can't do any more right now, but things could get very tough.

    The highlight of my week was drying a load of washing outside!!! I know that will seem silly to those of you living in warmer climates, but it's always a little thrill, every year, to get the first load of washing dried outside. I love hanging the washing out, I love seeing it hung there and I love the smell. Last year I replaced my nasty plastic line and pegs with more natural, pleasing ones and such a small thing has given me a lot of pleasure.

    Hope everyone has had a good week.

    1. Dear Su, Thank you. The basket sounds like a wonderful buy. I find baskets so useful even in my pantry.
      The oven dish sounds lovely too! I would have bought it also!
      Su if you do need to self isolate for either just avoiding others or because you have to then it is so good to have social media and be able to chat with others and see what is going on. Having craft and projects is just vital. I hope it doesnt come to this. So far the nearest known cases to us are three hours away. But in reality there could be infected people anywhere they just havent been to the doctor or been tested. Once (and if) we get local cases that will be it, we will be isolating ourselves as much as possible.
      As I love sun dried linen I understand! The smell of sun dried sheets is beautiful. A favourite thing of mine! I like the sound of your pegs too! I totally understand! With love,

  7. I am so happy to read that Lucy and the baby are both ok! How scary for you all. You will be hoping for a very run-of-mill week I'm sure! That's so great that you were able to help out, what piece of mind for Lucy and Kato. The cupcakes look lovely! I hope Andy is continuing to improve as well and maybe taking things a bit easier?!

    The big news here is that the sale of our house will be finalised today. This is such a weight off. I am cooking a celebration meal tonight for the family, as even the kids have been helping when we've gone down to mow lawns etc. It will be so nice to just focus on the house we are living in!

    I have done some major clearing out this week, I remember you said that when you moved you didn't bring one thing that you didn't want. Well, despite best intentions, we did lol. So I've been going through rooms one at a time and being really honest about what can go. And some of it has been quite big stuff, which makes the most amazing difference when it's gone from the house. So the op shop was very pleased, and so am I!! There are still more areas to go through, but I can really notice a difference already and am feeling much better about it.

    We have a long weekend here, I'm so looking forward to it. I hope you have a truly relaxing weekend!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, Yes give me run of the mill!
      Congratulations on the sale of your house. I know just how that feels as we had to wait a little bit and look after everything to keep it perfect for the market. So much to do. When we sold and settled I could concentrate just on the farmhouse. It was fantastic. So I am very glad for you!
      Well done on your decluttering. I like some clear and empty spaces and really also the ability to keep things that are important over things that are just clutter. We have a long weekend too. It is also gorgeous Autumn weather already! I love it! You will feel so good going forward now the house is settled! With love,

  8. Annabel I am so happy that Lucy is okay and you were able to help in times of need. So lovely you were able to pick up some wonderful fabrics for craft projects and china you needed from the op shops :).

    No need to apologise for not answering posts at all as family comes first and I am glad that Andy is now doing well.

    Our Vicky Challenge added up to $184.55 in savings last week :).

    Finances/Internet listings and earnings -
    - Paid and extra part payment off our home mortgage saving bank interest and time on our loan. Yay we are getting another .25% reduction on interest rates on the 13th of this month :).
    - Through being under budget in a lot of categories I was able to put $700 back into the home cash emergency kitty that we spent on storm water pipes and fittings and house bug spraying.
    - Listed 25 items on a free eBay listing promotion saving $41.25 on usual listin prices.
    - DH earned $120 from a gardening job.
    - I earned $11 from the sale of an eye mask I made on eBay.
    - We earned $5 from the sale of cucumbers we grew in our gardens.

    In the kitchen/pantry -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Did a stocktake of the food storage room as so many things are out of stock in the shops to make sure we had enough of everything. I am pleased to say we mostly do but need to stock up some more on some tinned fruit.

    Purchases -
    - Saved $11.10 or 5% by ordering a Wish e-gift card from RACQ for fuel.
    - Bought on specials/markdowns from IGA a 6 pk of wholemeal jumbo buns for $1.50, 2 red capsicum for $1.17, 6.138 kg of rump steak for $8.95 kg and bananas at $3.49 kg saving $55.60 on usual prices in other stores.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 6 bunches of silverbeet, and 14 cucumbers or 6 kg saving $76.20 over buying them in the shops.
    - Yesterday we picked another 3 cucumbers from the gardens saving $10.50 on buying them in the shops.
    - We were able to clean up/weed around the vegetable garden beds and mow and spray fence lines and around buildings for weeds and termites before more rain is about to hit.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna)

    1. Dear Lorna,
      Your garden is really producing now! How far you have come since you moved! And you have more rain coming! So good.
      I just love the way you work out your percentages towards your goals and that you work so hard to get ahead on payments and with the emergency fund. I hope people reading are inspired to do this. Even in very small amounts it makes such a difference and adds up! DH's and your extra money into the kitty add up too. I think "sidelines" are a very good thing. I am working on creating additional sidelines... one being the cottage. Much progress there this weekend!
      Well done on a very constructive and productive week! It feels so good to see progress. With much love,

  9. Annabel, I'm glad Lucy and baby are okay, how scary that must have been. Things are really stepping up here with the coronavirus and I too have found myself checking and rechecking my preparedness. It still seems surreal to me at times! I hope you have a much more normal week and that you get all that fruit preserved.

    1. Dear Patsi, It really does seem like in a movie or something. I dont know if you ever read one Second After but in that there is a nursing home and none of the staff come to work and the residents are all in a dire way very fast. well in Australia a nursing home is affected with the virus and a resident has died... and staff dont want to go in there. Just like out of the book. Other people say the virus is no worse than the flu. Even if that were true when people are quarantined, schools are closed, supply chains are broken etc things start to get very tricky to say the least... why people dont consider these things I have no idea! I hope I can get on to the fruit too. One thing I am keen to make is plain pureed apple for baby food. Have a good weekend there, with love

  10. I've been studying your blog posts on building up the pantry & finding some excellent ideas to put to use. We live in the middle of the USA near the Canadian border. At this time the Corona Virus is in the states west, south & east but nothing here, that we know of. This seems like a good time to put some extra things away just in case we need to stay home for a period of time or become sick. We've always kept some extra supplies on hand as large supermarkets are some distance away. Also I garden, so have canned, frozen & dried produce put away. Even so, your ideas have helped me to add to the stash & it feels quite good to be more prepared. Thanks so much for your helpful blog posts & I'll be following along for even more of your ideas! - Diane from northern Minnesota

    1. Dear Diane,
      Thank you so much! I am so glad you have built up supplies. This is a very interesting time and good to be prepared. One thing I have noticed is a shortage of testing kits so the true numbers of infections will be much lower than reality. Just by being stocked and observant you are ahead of the game! With love,

  11. I did a large shopping trip the end of last week and now have a least a month's worth of pantry items as well as a freezer full of food. I'm going shopping with a friend tomorrow to Costco (I don't know if they have made their way Down Under, but it is a membership warehouse that sells in bulk) for paper goods, soap and vitamins. No shortages that I have noticed, yet...I'll see tomorrow!! But it is nice to know that I have enough of just about everything (including cookies and chocolates), just in case! At home on the farm, I easily have enough in my pantry and freezers to last 6 months, maybe more. Having grocery stores so close, I haven't been stocking up as much. You have encouraged me to stock up, so I have!!

    1. Dear Farm Quilter,
      Yes we do have Costco. Only one in our state. You are wise and well ahead and six months ahead is excellent. Also located on the farm you can self quarantine and be pretty far from virus outbreaks. We will reach a point where we will stay on the farm. In the meantime I am doing what I can and avoiding crowds and hand washing and so on. I hope your Costco stock up is very good and fun with your friend too! With love,

  12. Praise God that Lucy is fine, but I'm sure at the time there was much anxiety. Girl, your op shop finds leave me breathless...nothing like them here at all.
    In Townsville we've not had the panic buying of staples which other parts of Australia and the capital cities are experiencing, but we've just been warned there is a very high chance a cyclone will develop next week right beside us and that is the kind of news that sends our locals into stores to stock up.
    May the week ahead be restful, calm, productive and filled with joy. xxx

    1. Dear Jenny, Thank you! Oh I had not heard about the possibility of a cyclone! Yes that could lead to a lot of panic buying. It is so much simpler to always keep a good pantry as we can. I just read the police have had to go stop people fighting over toilet paper somewhere in a Woolworths! I am hoping the week ahead is "normal" and lovely. Have a beautiful weekend! With love,

  13. Dear Annabel, what a blessing you are to your family. I am so glad Lucy and Andy are OK. I have had a very busy few weeks including a hospital visit with my daughter too (all good now). I am very happy to report that this week I have taken ownership of one rooster, five hens and four chickens. My Mother in Law homed a trio of bantams for me when I moved 2 years ago. They have had lots of chickens since and she no longer wanted them. Despite not having as much room as I used to have - I could resist no longer, it was lovely to have descendants of my chickens back. It makes me so happy. We purchased a beautiful little cubby house from a family member to use as a chook house and we will now make a run for them. We had a funny incident the first day - when the Rooster escaped and ran all around my husband's work before hiding in the Information centre that visitors come to look at (like a little museum). I am loving hearing their chicken noises. I have also managed to preserve quite a few of my lovely peaches. Next week I will start on my Granny Smith Apples. I don't feel quite as prepared as I would like with regard to stocking up but will continue working on it. It does fascinate me that toilet paper is the first thing everyone is thinking of. All the supermarkets around me are out of it. At least if you ran out of toilet paper you could use cloth if you needed to. Have a great weekend everyone, love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      Thank you! I hope your daughter is ok!! Oh goodness we are all having a bad run!
      I am very happy to hear bout your chickens! That is a good collection!! A cubby house is a great hen house! If anyone came to the information centre that got a surprise!
      I hope they start laying for you soon this will be great.
      I am glad you have had peaches and now apples. You had a lovely week with produce and animals... and I hope your daughter is fully mended, with love

  14. Hi Annabel,

    I'm so glad that Lucy is feeling much better. How funny that Harper asked if you brought cupcakes! The ones you make always look so beautiful. I hope everything settles down for you soon and you get some time to catch up at home. I've also got some butternut pumpkins growing which came from volunteer seeds. Also I would love to see you write something about the crisis which is going on at the moment. Today was my grocery shopping day and we went to 3 supermarkets and every one was out of toilet paper. I always buy long life milk as it is cheaper than fresh and everywhere was out as well! In Coles the entire section with soap, hand and body wash was empty and it is really concerning me. Like yourself and other readers I have been stocking up for quite some time and am grateful as I have enough on food and cleaning products to keep my family fed and healthy. xx

    1. Dear Mel, Hello! Thank you so much. I am so glad you have a good pantry and I know you are resourceful and inventive too. All the products you mentioned are pretty much the exact same ones as were missing here. I also noted low things to do with babies like nappies. Which I am only looking at with Lucy's baby on the way.
      The butternut pumpkins will be very handy! Have a lovely weekend! Love

  15. Hello dear Annabel, I will send prayers up for Lucy. Very difficult with young children at home ! I'm not far from the outbreak of corona here in Sydney. Everyone is wearing masks but the surgical type doesn't work. You need one with a filter. We prepare but we don't panic. I have filled my pantry with tinned things including fruit, and frozen veg. There is no pasta, sauce, rice, tissues, toilet paper, and other staples like beans and soup sold out continuously. I got the last three bottles of hand soap. Hand sanitizer can't be found. I feel people are panicking. I got a job interview for which I pray I will get. It will allow me to get out of govt housing with drug dealers underneath me !!! I do worry how I will handle full time work. It's not nursing it's working as a assistant to the director at a funeral home. I've done this work before. Thinking of you, with love, Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia, I am praying about your job. I cant wait for you to get away for those neighbours and also to get your dream home and garden! With love

  16. Oh my, Annabel! This is the kind of thing we prepare for, isn't it? Those unplanned times when we must drop everything and GO. Four of our seven grandchildren have had emergencies either prepartum or post-partum. Not to mention my parents while they were still living. It is a great comfort to know that everything is stocked up on the Homefront when you need to make a mad dash to help loved ones.

    Great finds at the op-shop! I learned something from you and a good friend of mine. Thrift/op shopping takes time. I picture you sitting on the floor of the shop painstakingly going through each item, discarding the duds and keeping the gems.

    My friend says she gets her whole wardrobe from thrift stores. She doesn't look at the sizes so much as she does whether she likes the garment or not. She will end up taking a range of sizes in the changing room with her - generally about 20 garments and leisurely tries them on, again, discarding the duds and keeping the gems.

    I tried her and your method yesterday and found a new to me pair of jeans and a blouse! $3 US for the two items. Normally I don't have the patience but I am learning that it pays off!

    I got a few books at our library sale, but will go back tomorrow when they have a bag sale. I am looking for classics (got a 2 volume set of Shakespeareare's complete works!) and how to books.

    I took our car in to be serviced. With parts from China becoming scarce, I thought I should take care of the maintenance sooner rather than later.

    Today I will be receiving a box of lemons in the mail. On the list of to do's today is to zest and juice most of them. Monday I will can up the juice.

    I am flying in two weeks to our first annual cousins reunion. We vowed to get together other than funerals. Our only remain aunt is 93 so we are going to her town and spend time with her. She never had children so we are her 'kids'.

    I am making disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer to bring on the plane and will pack my own food/snacks for the first leg of the trip. I'm also bring a couple of scarves to wrap around my face if my seat mate is coughing or sneezing.

    Hoping and praying you have an uneventful week with lots of time to process all that food!

    1. Dear Cheri, You are very observant. I have heard people say they never find anything in thrift stores... and fair enough some places are so expensive it is not worth it. But many people walk through and walk out again. And there I am with boxes pulled out and I will sit and go through them and if I have to sit on the floor to dig through the fabric box I dont mind. I think this as well as asking the staff about what you are looking for is important. And the things I find!! It is well worth it. The other thing I hear is people say they dont need any clothes. I rarely buy clothes... now and then I guess.... I am there buying sewing and craft materials, books, jars and bottles, kids activities and many more things.
      Good thinking on the car repairs. I hear the same applies to tyres! I had not thought of tyres!
      Have a safe trip and hello to your dear Aunt! With love

  17. Isn't it a Blessing to be able to run straight-away to care for your daughter and family. What a wonderful gift. Praise God she is well!

    I went straight to google to find a recipe for your chicken pesto. I am so going to make it this weekend! I have everything on hand and best of all, the pesto is my homemade in the freezer!

    Wishing you a Blessed weekend and much health to Lucy/baby!

    1. Thank you Elle! The chicken pesto Lucy started making and I copied. I serve over rice with other veggies. It is really just chickened cubed and fried then lots of pesto and finished with cream.. It makes a really bright green sauce and is delicious!! The more sauce the better I have found!
      I am loving pesto too on a pizza instead of tomato... oh it is so nice!
      Thank you so much, with love

  18. Dear Annabel,

    You are such a good mum! I am so glad to hear that Lucy and the baby are okay. It's crazy how fast dehydration affects a person.

    Your pumpkins look absolutely beautiful. I just picked up a seed catalog today from the feed store and the chick order form for May, so planning is in full swing. It really feels like spring here, today...I even put some sheets on the line! However, something's moving in tonight, so we're expected to have minus 20 C. with the windchill as a high temperature tomorrow. Boo.

    So far the panic buying hasn't happened here...toilet paper is still on the shelves! We have some things we would be out of if we had to stay put for 2 weeks, but not much...we still have lots on the canning shelves and lots in the freezer, powdered milk, canned evaporated milk, and even toilet paper in bulk, as we always buy that at Costco. The one thing we would still need is a bag of chicken feed! :) At times like these, it sure is apparent how the world's systems sure depend on the movement of people and goods and folks continually buying things!

    Have been trying to keep myself off of the internet and away from the news, and it has sure given me a LOT of extra time to work on crafts and housekeeping and visiting neighbors, and has given me a lot less angst, that's for sure. I'm not saying I should bury my head in the sand, but not listening to media hype is definitely good for me.

    This week: We had new neighbors over for supper, which was nice, and got the house nice and clean. :) Finished a crocheted granny square afghan that I've had in the works for months. This is great, because I ordered an afghan book and wanted to be done this one so I can plan a new one! Ha, ha. I also finished a pair of socks for charity and worked on a sweater and a vest. (A girl has to have lots of projects going on at once.) Made bread, made muffins. Getting prepped to cut out a muslin for a dress this afternoon, and to go thru the seed catalog I picked up to draft an order.

    Hope the upcoming week is a little calmer for you!!!

    Lots of love,

    Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Seed catalogues and chick order forms sounds so good to me!!
      We find not watching tv gives us so much more time. Mostly we watch half an hour a day but often none. I think the average is quite a few hours. I am better off with the least amount. Very selective on the internet too.
      You got a lot done! I am a multi project girl too! I love having projects going and it motivates me to move fast so I can get some done!
      Many thanks Jen, With love

  19. When you wrote, "Mum gave me a big jar of almonds", at first glance, I thought it read, "Mum gave me a big jar of diamonds". Ha! That would be lovely! Glad your daughter and baby are fine, you are such a blessings to everyone you meet. That crumbling old house is fantastic, I think Annabell could work her magic on that! The apples are beautiful. I'm headed to the thrift store, you've inspired me (as always).

    1. Dear Joy, A big jar of diamonds would be nice! But I was happy with almonds still!
      The old house is so sweet but many whole walls are missing and just a little bit remains. It is located just a couple of hundred meters from the beach too.
      I hope you had success at the thrift store. Partly it is the thrill of the hunt! With love

  20. It sounds like you have had a very full-on couple of weeks, Annabel. Glad that your Andy and your daughter are both better again. I hope the coming weekend gives you that chance to catch your breath and enjoy being home.

    I am looking forward to a whole weekend at home; all our errands and shopping are done for the week and so this means lots of time to potter around here. I worked four days this past week so was glad I had meals in freezer to defrost for easy dinners, homemade yoghurt and slice for lunchbox snacks and plenty of ceylon spinach in the garden for omelette breakfasts.

    Over the weekend, I plan to give our study a good tidy up, check use by dates on first aid supplies and do some baking for the freezer. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Meg,
      We have a long weekend here and so far I have been able to be home, catch up, enjoy lovely weather and cook. It is very nice.
      I hope you had a lovely weekend. I like your idea of spinach omelette breakfasts very much! With love

  21. Hi Annabel,

    Very thankful that Lucy and baby are ok. I'm at the same stage of pregnancy my self so feeling for Lucy.

    This week was a very expensive week but we managed to still save in many ways.
    My husband was able to reweld and rewire an old ride on mower we were given that was not working and the piece that held the blades off the ground had rusted off. 3rd belt later it's running well not snapping after 20 minutes. This saved us 100s of dollars over getting it repaired not to mention time.

    Have been needing to live off the pantry staples for some time now but was able to cash in $60 of flybuys points and used it to restock some pantry staples. I really wanted to get more milk powder and toilet paper because my stash was getting low but it was not available so I brought a garden sprinkler hose instead.

    I managed to get 2 gardens weeded and planted with seeds ( lettuce,dwarf and snake beans, chives and shallots) . This weekend I hope to get in the pumpkins, tomatoes, beets ,okra,and Asian green and other herb seeds in the ground.

    We are just down from Townsville in Rocky . It's been raining lots so hopefully the seeds take and aren't too washed away.

    We ate all meals from the pantry and freezer again this week getting very creative with what we have. Esp since my stove Elements decided to fail. I'm down to using an electric fry pan for most meals. We are away from home 7:30-6:30 most days so regular slow cooker meals don't work so well. (If any one has ideas for simple frugal slow cooker meals other than dry beans that survive for 10+hours please let me know:)

    Made some good headway into paying off a personal loan. Want it gone before baby comes. Once that is taken care off God willing I will be able to direct my attention to pantry building.

    Wishing everyone a better week

    1. Dear Di,
      You have a long and busy day! Well done on getting the loan paid off (hopefully) before the baby arrives.
      I hope your seeds do come up for you. It was great you could re stock a bit wth the FLybuy points. I did this a couple of times a year and get half price things to put away. It helps.
      Well done to your husband on the ride on lawn mower! What a saving!!
      Being Lucys third baby she is looking really pregnant now! I hope you are able to finish up work before you get too tired. When you do I do have some crockpot meals that can stock up your freezer. Let me know when you are ready and I will send them to you. You can put a timer so the crock pot starts when you want but then food is left sitting at room temperature for a while. So I think better to do a cook up on the weekend and quick re heats on week nights.
      Keep up the good work! With love,

  22. Oh Annabel I am praying that your upcoming week is as boring as can be. Obviously there is going to be quite a lot of preserving happening at your place with all those apples and lemons. I hope you find time to breathe and to recharge your body batteries.
    I got a call from Katie to say we were heading to Brisbane on Thursday to go Wedding dress shopping. Off we went on our 4 hour drive. Katie tried on so many beautiful dresses but none were what she wanted. I am still trying to work out what exactly she wants. We did go to one store where the cheapest dresses were extremely plain and simple and really boring. These cheap dresses ranged in price from $2000-$3500. We didn't come away with anything from that store. We came home via my brothers in Toowoomba where we spent the night. Toowoomba has some lovely bridal stores and some dresses that were in our price range. We still came home with nothing but with a much better idea of what we are looking for.
    At each Bridal wear store we were told that all dresses are made in China. Katie is coming around to the idea that she may be wearing a Mum made dress. She is coming around to the idea a lot faster and easier than I am.
    This week Bluey has his 70th Birthday. Katie and I have been organising a surprise party for him next weekend. So far he doesn't have a clue. I am so hoping it stays that way. We have friends and family coming from all over the country. He is going to have a ball.
    Life is overwhelmingly good.

    1. Dear Jane, I hope Blueys party will be wonderful! What a surprise! It does sound like maybe you will end up making the dress! This will be interesting!
      The girl trip together was priceless anyway! I hope the secret is kept from Bluey and it is fantastic! With love,

  23. Annabel, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have taught me and so many others. My pantries are well stocked as is my chest freezer. I think I could feed my husband and myself for 6 months with what I have on hand. If I need to help my daughter and son in law or other family members I can do that for sure. There is tremendous peace in that. I took photos of my pantries, but I hesitate to share them with relatives for fear they will think I’m nuts. But I have seen too many instances where having a deep pantry was critical, and in fact it has helped us so much in the past during times of job loss. There is Coronavirus panic here too, with people hoarding hand sanitizer and disinfecting products, cold medicine and so on. The stores are out of hand sanitizer in most cases. I’m so glad I have a good pantry of all of those plus first aid supplies and essential oils. I need to freeze some dairy items that are ok to freeze. I have powder and shelf stable milk in the pantry at least. I envy you being able to have chickens there. Having a supply of eggs is amazing! The beautiful bounty of apples will sure keep you busy!

    I’m so glad momma and baby are doing well! It’s exhausting going from one medical crisis to another. I know this too well. Take care of yourself while you are at it! How wonderful is it to have a loving family. We are so blessed to have that.-CarlaM

    1. Dear Carla,
      Thank you for a beautiful comment. Job loss and hard economic times, illness... so many reasons a well stocked pantry are a form of insurance and peace. Also exactly as you say... being able to help your family! And we may need to for sure. This makes me feel a lot better. I can be their back up.
      I have been adding butter to the freezer. I think I should get more powdered milk if it is still available! I want to can some butter too. You are doing very well and should be proud! With love,

  24. Hi Annabel, I read your response to patsi. Living close to the outbreak in the Sydney nursing home I can clarify a few things. Firstly yes the coronavirus is spreading out of control. They say the symptoms are flu like. Anyone who has a cough, runny nose, and fevers should CALL AHEAD of going to a doctor or hospital. SELF ISOLATE for two days if you have symptoms. The woman who started the spread didn't travel. However two residents of that nursing home died from it. It has since been placed in lockdown. The school with a boy aged 17 and his mother, a doctor at a local hospital, has been tested positive. And she got it from a colleuge returning from Iran. The govt has restricted flights each way to Iran and also Korea. We are told by the govt to PREPARE but not panic. Baby food doesn't seem to be an issue. It's pasta, sauce, rice, beans, tuna, tomatoes and toilet paper that's sold out. Hand soap seems to be a real issue too. I bought the last four bottles !! Keep healthy, and free of corona !!

    1. Dear Sonia, Thank you! It must be so strange with all this going on around you in Sydney. I am praying about your job interview by the way. With the baby food I am more planning ahead thinking ok by the time we need baby food this may have blown over or... it may be worse so it wont hurt to be a bit prepared then. Be careful Sonia and thank you for your help. With love

  25. Such a blessing that Lucy and baby are back at home and doing well. Same for your Andy! And that you are there and are able to help them, Annabel. I hope you get a chance to relax a bit this weekend! Hugs, Shirley

    1. Dear Shirley, Thank you so much! We have had sunshine and lovely days and I have been cooking apples and busy at home and in the garden. This is very nice! I hope the same for you. With love

  26. Glad everything is returning to normal for your family. What a wonderful find with the fabric and apples. Soon as I heard about the virus I went through our stockpile to see what we should add. I have been going to Costco for 3 weeks in a row. Friday was like a Zombie movie. I bought more food that we always eat, protein shakes and more freezer food. People were pushing and running through the store for Toilet paper, water and Clorox
    wipes. I have a Berkey Filter and my daughter has a well 5 minutes away so I did not go and arm wrestle for water. We have 3 months of toiletries so I did not fight over toilet paper either. People are really scared and it is a mob mentality now. So thankful we have been on the road to preparedness. Thankful for your blog that encourages us to be prepared. Preparedness gives us peace.

    1. You are so right! Preparedness does give peace. I would just hate to be in a panic right now. I think too it gets dangerous once a lot of people are in a panic. We need good judgement on this and stay well out of anywhere that violence could break out which I am now suspecting it will. Well done and I think the Berkey Filter is an excellent thing to have! With love

  27. Annabel,
    I hope things slow down for you for a bit with the medical emergencies. It is wonderful you are able to take care of things so well though and get back to feathering your nest with your good finds. And getting the girls off to kindy had to be great fun!
    This week was a fantastic week with many freebies and blessings. I got a comforter set to review, saved $105 with coupons and got several window sill growing kits for greens and mushrooms, lavender and a tomato for free. I won a goody box that had earrings that cost $150 that will go in the gift trunk plus it had some items that can go in the medical supplies and we got another truck load of free wood. I am staying ahead on meals and making sure there is no waste. Everything is used for something. And altogether with our eggs and other things it was a savings of over $500 this week. I am also starting seeds and have started off with 72 tomatoes. We are probably going to have another Victory garden this year Lol!
    At the stores here there is big gaps in the toilet paper, but not cleared shelves. the cleared shelves were ramen noodles and instant potatoes.
    It is times like these that I cannot stress enough how the little things add up not only in saving, but being prepared. It is security even if others think we are nutty.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky, You did have an amazing week! The earrings alone are a wonderful addition to the present box! The comforter too is lovely to have. And free wood is worth a small fortune and better than money in the bank!
      I hope the tomato seeds so well! Yes your Victory Garden will be a very very good thing to have.
      Thanks Vicky you are right. The little things we do each week really add up. With love

  28. I feel so for your daughter. My daughter had hyperemesis with her pregnancy. so many trips to hospital for drips. I am so glad your daughter picked up quickly and that the little ones were not upset by their mother was not there.

    I really need to get back into stock piling again.


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