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, 15 May 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 15th May, 2020.

I am happy to say it was another good week!  We had rain and today is sunny and beautiful.  So everything will be growing!

This week Harper turned 5.  It was just a beautiful family day.  I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday.  It was a such a special day and so was her birthday yesterday.

This week I was able to pick another bucket of figs.  I also used up apples and make puree which I shared and froze.   I made a kind of cheats Samosa by using puff pastry and the sandwich maker to cook them. They turned out well!   Completely non authentic but tasty and fast.

On Sunday Mum came over for afternoon tea for Mothers Day.   For some reason my scones (gluten free) turned out to be the best ones ever.  For anyone interested I never could make scones.  They were terrible.   My Nan stood over me and watched (as she made great ones) and they still didn't work.  She couldn't believe it!  After about 40 years of this I decided the conventional scone making advice wasn't working and to do something else.   So.... I ignored advice to handle them gently and made them in the mix master.   I added a bit extra baking powder.  I added an egg as eggs encourage rising, right?  I cut them thickly and I melted the butter.  So I did EVERYTHING wrong.  And ta dah!   There were amazing.    
 I use gluten free SR Flour.  However you can use regular flour just the same.     It is 4 cups flour,  a big bit of melted butter... (say 100gs or a couple of big spoonfuls) 2 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, one egg.    Mix in the mixer until it is a lovely smooth dough.  Adjust if it is too sticky.  You want a really moist dough that you can handle.  I dip my cutter into flour and cut each one thickly.    Add cheese or pumpkin if you want savoury.  Add sultanas or dates if you want fancier sweet ones. 

Anyway these were the nicest ones ever!  Mum loved them and I sent her home with some. 

Chloe gave me beautiful Mothers Day flowers...

I put a gift together for my Uncle who isn't well.  I was able to include some of my homemade little soaps to take around with him and used a little tin for them.

We are taking measures to improve our security.  I had a series of prompts to do this. Several people I really trust and respect told me how much they were increasing their own security.  Then we heard of a local burglary on a farm.  Next we heard of trailer loads of animals being stolen over the border.  Since then someone said to me that they have had intruders on their land and to please take every precaution.  This will all enough for me to get the message.  We made a list of things to do.   One small step was to revamp a sign in our driveway is meant to get cars to slow down.   But the writing was faded and unclear.   I revived it and added a Beware of the Dog sign.

All week we have added some conventional and some sneaky security measures.  

I made up trays of Enchiladas.  They freeze really well so I added a tray to the freezer for "baby week."  

There was some progress on the cubby house.  Finally it is in position thanks to my son in laws help.
We had no way of unloading it as it was so heavy.  It was even heavier as inside the big box was another box!  

The box inside is pretty big but low and squat.  I had been thinking dog kennel, goat house... until I saw it.  Then I realised it is a perfect raised garden bed!!  

By the evening I had painted the cubby house box with an undercoat of a weather sealant.  So it is painted white now.   The raised garden bed is next.   I am lining that with thick plastic also to keep the wood from rotting.    I started to study up and things to fill a raised garden bed since I am hoping to have a series if them.   Also I was reading up on compost and material for chicken bedding.    For some reason I have always thought shredded paper would be messy and was not really suitable.   But I was wrong!  And this is the best thing ever as I have access to ridiculous amounts of shredded paper. 
So now I have several bags of this ready for my garden beds and several bags are already in the texting boxes for the chickens.   The eggs are perfectly clean everyday.  When this breaks down it will be compost I can also add to my garden beds.  I had a resource I wasn't even using. 
Today I worked a little on the cubby house.   It now has trees.  Leaves are next.   It is going to be covered in trees and the animals we have here on the farm.   Andy is adding a tin roof and cutting out the door and windows.  

On the way home from Lucy's we go through some pine forests.  I saw a new huge Wedge Tailed Eagle nest.  It is hard to guess the size but it must be five feet wide.  And several feet deep...

I love these nests!!  The chickens look like white fluffy chickens (Silky Bantams) not that I saw them on this occasion but I have been lucky enough to in the past. 
Our stores have returned to almost normal.  Not quite...  but much better.  A good deal is harder to come by.  I am noticing a big demand in everything to do with self sufficiency from seeds to caning lids.  And from chickens to guinea pigs!  Yes Guinea Pigs... suddenly everyone wants them.  I put this down to quite a few You Tube gardeners and articles suggest that for manure for your garden small animals like chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs are great to keep.   Many people can keep small animals whereas large livestock might be out of the question. 

 I was so happy I already had my gardens set up and my chickens established when lock downs and shortages began.  But I decided if I had a chance to get more chickens I would.  I put my name down on two waiting lists.   This week I got a call!   These are x battery hen chickens....  $6 each.  I have had these before.  They arrive sad and sorry.  But they respond to love and care and lay for a good couple of years at least.  The going rate for chickens is $20 to $25 each here and this is for ordinary laying hens and not fancy breeds which can be much more.  So I ordered 12.  Chicken maths is a known formula for anything to do with hens.  A few plus a couple extra and a back up = 12.   Anyway I am so exited and I have about a month to wait.

So overall I am very happy.  We had two special occasions,  I found a resource I didn't know I had and set it to good use.  The cubby house is underway.  The first raised garden bed is nearly ready to set up.  I have seedlings coming along in the garden and seeds sprouting.  I am mulching all the garden beds day by day until they are all done.  I even nearly used up all the apples! And we had rain! 

I hope you had a good week.  Did you find ways to add to your pantry or garden?  There are lots of little ways to get ahead.  They really do all add up.  Sometimes we see things in a fresh new way and see possibilities we didn't see before.  As we learn more we can put new things into action.  This is what is going to help now as many of us face new challenges.  Added helpfulness and kindness is needed too.  We can actually help each other so much!   Tell me about your week and what you are doing to build up your home and family?

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. She is just so cute and darling. Time goes by so fast!
    I couldn't believe that nest in the trees ..huge! Our chickens were only $5 per chicken in March and that was for a heritage breed. They might have went up by now.
    I'm glad you upping your security. We are also. Things we used to do we do no longer. For instance, we used to have the garage door open all day -now even if we are just coming in for 30 minutes to close it down and lock. This is among other things we started to do around here. Good to stay on top of our toes.
    Have a great week.

    1. Dear Vickie, I think it is better to be safe than sorry. So it is a bit of a pain but probably a good idea. They are awesome prices for Chickens! The heritage breeds here can be a lot although I have one Wyandotte? chicken who was only $20 because she was from a friend. Yes one! She stands out from the crowd. Her name is Fancy Girl! haha! I am glad you already have your chickens! With love

    2. Just before all this quarantine stuff started we were getting ready to leave for church one morning. I was sitting in the kitchen and looking out the window when a motorcycle goes by on the main drive. I told my husband who took off to find the man and he in turn called my son. Well whoever it was must have realized it was a private drive right off and turned around and went right back, but it really startled me because we are not visible from the roadway. Our drive looks like a field track really. I am lobbying hard for my husband to put up a gate at a point in the drive where it's unlikely anyone would miss it. I already insist that we keep car doors locked even up here. I've heard of a lot of break ins during this time and not keen to discover we're part of the statistics!

  2. I have the exact same jug as the one your flowers are in!

    I think increasing security is a wise move and something that more of us need to think about.

    This week I stopped following the news. I needed to do this for my own sanity and wellbeing and I can't tell you how much better I feel for it.

    I made butter and baked bread using the buttermilk (it smelt amazing, looks great, cuts beautifully and tastes...meh! I'll make soda bread in future). I also made bread with some failed yogurt. I have no idea why it failed, but it did.

    Last week I said I wanted a mirror in my living room, well I remembered that my next door neighbour had given me a tri-fold dressing table mirror a couple of years ago. I had separated the parts as I don't have a dressing table, but I have put them on the chimney breast and they look fab! Zero cost too.

    I've also been wanting a small table at the end of my sofa, I have several and have tried them all, but none of them really worked,but I have stacked three wicker baskets and put a tray on top and it's just right. I painted them using leftover paint, the tray I have had at least 20 years and the baskets were roadside finds. I just need to line the last basket later today and then that's all finished.

    This is so simple, but it pleases me no end! The little handwashing kit that I take to work was in a ziplock bag, which just didn't do it for me, I remembered some organza bags that yarn has come in. As a bonus it now fits beautifully into the pocket of the backpack I use for work. This tiny little thing has pleased me inordinately.

    Well that was my week, take care everyone.

    1. Dear Su, That jug is gorgeous and huge! I was lucky enough to find it with the basin in a thrift store here. I love it!
      The mirror is great! And your end table! Also I like your hand washing kit. We all need these. A very good idea! Much of the news is completely untrue now. I call it social engineering. They think we are too dumb to know we are being led astray. So I have no trust for it. We need our wits about us but mostly the media now are not much good so to watch it is just distressing. I am glad you are feeling better. It is better to get on with things and happier too! With much love

  3. Hi Annabel,

    Hi Annabel,
    Youve had a really productive week and every thing looks gorgeous.
    I cant believe Harper is 5 already, (Lucy wasn't even married when I first found your lovely blog

    Hi Annabel,
    What a lovely and productive week you've had, everything looks so lovely.
    I can't believe Harper is 5 already (Lucy wasn't even married when I first found your blog.
    Those flowers from Chloe are beautiful, the colours are so lovely.
    I'll have to try your scone recipe as mine turn out like hockey pucks. They are so bad that David says "Don't bother cutting them out, just roll the dough out evenly and bake, we can use them as paving stones in the garden after we varnish them! Cheeky or what?

    Harper's doll's house is pretty but I bet they'll enjoy the cubby house more.

    I've been on a bit of an internet fast this last week or so, partly because i've had a bad chest infection, but also I was getting a bit down with COVID news. The new guidance here in the UK is confusing nd about as clear as mud so I'm staying put a bit longer, apart from necessary shopping.
    I've also been reading alot and trying to teach myself how to use the design programm for my cutting machine. I've also revamped our budget as all our insurances were due and things like rent and council tax all went up too.
    Take care everyone and stay safe.

    1. Hahaha! on the scones. Seriously try this. I hope it works for you. Otherwise I guess you will have some more paving stones...
      I actually watched some of the press conferences in the UK and no wonder you are confused. I would go ahead with a lot of caution. I think they just dont know what to do... while the virus kills people so does poverty and a depression would kill many too. So which way to go? So do what you think and be careful.
      Well done on doing your budget. A lot of things seem to be going up. The machine... I would love one of those! All my pantry labels etc were made by one I think... like the vinyl rub on labels. They are good!
      Have a love weekend! xxx

  4. I love 'hearing' the joy in your words. You sound happy.
    Eagle nests are so magnificent and huge. What a gift to see one.
    Have a wonderful weekend

    1. Thank you Cheryl, You have a good weekend too. It is beautiful and sunny here today. I plan to get out and soak some sun up. With much love,

  5. Happy Friday! Happy Birthday to Harper! Your week has been so productive. Yea on getting the new chickens. Can't wait to see the new cubby! Have a Blessed Day.

    1. Dear Laurie, Thankyou! I hope the cubby will be more or less done in a few weeks. I will be collecting furniture etc over time. I am quite excited about it! Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  6. Happy Birthday, Harper! It is sad that you live out in the country and have security problems. You are fortunate to have a dog since I think most do not want to risk that. When we were at the lake in February we noticed that a cattle ranch nearby now has security measures in place and they are keeping the cows nearer to the house and away from the road. With all the staying home I think we feel safer here than we ever have because the neighbors are all home instead of all the empty houses most days.

    Our oldest grandchild turned 12 on Monday which I can hardly believe and then I turned 60 the next day. Where has the time gone? One great gift from our youngest son who cooks is a scale measuring cup. I can set it to flour and it weighs and tells me how many cups at the same time. This has made loading the bread machine so easy! I love useful gifts like that. The big thing on Mother's Day was finding out that we have a new grand baby on the way! We are so blessed!

    Yesterday we cooked 5 pounds of the ground pork that we have been getting for 75 cents a pound into a big batch of taco meat. That made 6 meals worth so 5 went into the freezer. We had done a test cook and season with one pound last week and thought it tasted too much like pork so this big batch got 2 cups of tomato sauce and it is delicious. We are working with what we can get for good prices and adapting the way we cook things to suit our tastes.

    It has finally warmed up here so we are spending time outside getting things planted and outdoor areas cleaned and ready for summer use. I am ready to eat our meals outside and enjoy our screen porch.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, Interesting about the cattle rancher you go by... I think this is the new norm. Anyone with stock must be more careful.
      I like the idea of the scale measuring cup. I like to convert recipes to cups it is so much easier. I love practical helpful gifts too!
      It is great on the Pork. I am trying to put more pork in the freezer. If you can enjoy the outdoor areas and sunshine that will be beautiful. We do this any day that is lovely. Today is one of those days except now it is dark very early, around 5.30. Then the cold sets in for the night.
      Have a lovely Sunday! With love

  7. Happy Birthday to Harper! Wow 5 years old! I started reading your blog when she was just a baby and have loved seeing the pictures of her as she has grown. I'm so pleased she had a lovely birthday.

    Your scones look great, I too have never mastered the plain scone. I'll give your method a go. I'm so excited to see the cubby house when it's ready. What a fun project.

    Our country has made some pretty huge progress here this week with most retail and businesses reopening. Schools will open from Monday. I've found it quite a lot to get my head around from being in lockdown for 7 weeks, to now being able to do most things we haven't been able to. I think for me it will be a slow transition, I still plan to spend most of my time at home.

    Our birthday party on Sunday was so fun, it took about 3 minutes for her to blow out the second candle lol. We had a really nice day at home together. I finished the granny square blanket for her, a couple of days late but she's 2 so she didn't know! It has yarn from I think 6 blankets I've made before, so it is very colorful and bright.

    This week I made granola, gf caramel slice, two lemon yoghurt cakes, cupcakes and I'm hoping to make some gf Anzac biscuits this weekend with rice flakes instead of oats. I'll let you know how they go.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, Yes it has been an interesting and sometimes scary time. NZ has done very well. This is a time when being far south, an island country etc has been such an advantage to control an epidemic. We have similar advantages there. Harper and Scarlett didnt go to Kindy. Now they will be going back. We too will be cautious and watchful... to see if more freedom the numbers stay low or things flare up again.
      Meanwhile at least in this lull we can use this to our advantage.
      Sounds like you had a lot of photo opportunities with the candle blowing out!
      I would love to make Anzac biscuits but I dot eat oats either... if your experiment works let me know! Genius I never thought of that! Thanks Jen! With love

  8. I just started using shredded paper in my garden beds as well. So far, it is working well. I also use it in the bottom of some of my containers- that way they don't get too heavy.
    I am sorry to hear about the security issues you are experiencing but I really appreciate the heads up as it was already on my mind.
    I harvested rhubarb from my garden this week and will use it for pies and for jam making. I usually mix it with strawberries.
    I live in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and I think we are in for a long, tough summer with concerns of the Covid-19 virus spreading. I am worried because our state now has it's first case in a child.
    Appreciate your blog so much and enjoy reading the comments.

    1. If security is on your mind take that as a prompt. I felt it and got confirmation over and over. I consider this a warning...
      The cases in children are really scary to me too. I think we need to go forward very carefully. I agree. Thank you so much for your kind comment! xxx

  9. Dear Annabel
    I cannot believe that Harper is 5, it just seems like yesterday that she was born.

    Wednesday was my first day out doing something since the 1st of April. I was up at Montville helping to clean the shop so that we can open June 1st.

    Just about everyone had taken their stock out so we didn't have much to work around. We got most of the cleaning done with just the top of the shelves and the walls above to be washed down in one room.

    Next week we start the restock with a notice going out to everyone outlining how things are going to be done. If too many arrive they will just have to social distance in the car park.

    No one is coming into the shop, the President will receive their items and hand them to either Jo or myself and we will be putting them in the general area that they will be displayed for sale.

    We have set aside 3 days to do all of this including doing the main displays. The shop has been rearranged, where we can to allow more room to move, people are going to complain but this is the best that can be done under the circumstances.

    We also have the added fact that the elderly lady who owned the shop passed away a couple of weeks ago and we have no idea how we fare in regards to her will. The lease runs out in August and while we would love to do new curtains and a couple of other things it really isn't worthwhile until we know what is going on.

    My husband has finally shifted into the office from the family room so I can now give the kitchen a good clean, at my own pace, instead of racing the clock before he started work at 8 am.

    My seeds arrived from the Diggers Club as well as the rose I ordered from Trealor Roses. That in itself ended up being a bit of a problem because I ended up with 2 boxes which had my name on rather than just the 1. I ended up sorting it out with the company and because I had been so honest and they worked out that it was too hard to get the roses back to Victoria and them being alive I have been allowed to keep them.

    So this weekend is all about roses - I have 3 that I hadn't planned on and 1 that I thought was coming next month (I must have been in the first mail out). So today I will tag along with my husband and go to a hardware store on the way home from doing the fruit and vegetable shop (I am staying in the car while my husband does it) and pick up rose planting soil and pots, this will give us time to work out where the roses should be planted.

    Of course this takes away from the removal of the banana tree stumps and the setting up of the raised garden beds for the vegetable gardens and finishing off the spare bedroom an unplanned for busy weekend.

    We have a new washing machine, I reverted back to a top loader. I love it because instead of doing 2 loads for the bedding I can now do it all in 1. The quick cycle is just that quick and no need to manually put the spin cycle on. I do have problems reaching some items in the bottom of the bowl but I use my mother in law's grab stick for that.

    I have been baking scones for my husband using my mother in law's recipe - this weekend I want to try it using gluten free flour. The recipe is similar to yours Annabel, just done by hand.

    Hope everyone has had a great week


    1. Gluten free scones using my mother in law's recipe worked.


    2. Dear Lynette, It is lovely to be planting roses and to have extra! I love a top loader washing machine. Even the seals on the front loaders that get yucky put me off. I stick to top loaders. I am glad the recipe went ok with the GF flour. I find often gf flour feels different to mix in or knead. Slightly different texture?
      Your garden progress is exciting now. You waited a long time for this! Now that your husband has an office you will have an easier day. That is very good.
      I would think you have been knitting all this time and will have a lot for the shop. I hope you dont have to move the whole shop at the end of the lease! Our local shop that is a similar set up is also re opening. I am so glad as it is the sideline income for many in the community. It is also quite a busy community shop and good for everyone. To top it off when it first was closed due to the virus it was burgled. Most people had taken their goods home thankfully. As you say it is a lot of work to set it all up, do the displays, keep it clean and looking good and now manage social distancing! Also then wiping down counters and having hand washing facilities and so on. But still it is good to be opening back up.
      It is a beautiful day here. Have a lovely Sunday Lynette! With much love,

  10. Dear Annabel,

    What a cute birthday girl! She looks like she was tickled pink with her day.

    This is disconcerting about the rise in break-ins in the country...I hope things will get better as restrictions ease up. We had some very minor easing today, which felt like we'd gained the moon. Funny how grateful you can be for small steps when you've been denied so much for so long!

    My week has been sort of productive. I worked a bit on cleaning up my flower beds, but it has been quite wet and cool...we even had some more snow! I haven't gotten as much done as I would have liked. My farmer friend to whom I gave some divided irises showed up today with a couple of bunches of black-eyed susans for me to plant. I am very excited as I love those flowers and haven't been successful starting them from seed. So I got out and got them in the ground today. I need to do some sod turning to make a bed properly for them, but for now they are in. It looks like we will have a very wet day tomorrow, so I guess no vegetable gardening this weekend, but I have plans to finish the dress tomorrow (just the zipper and sew on 3 buttons!!) and get ready to serve a "Mystery Dinner" for a fun long weekend event with our family. Have you done one of those? I haven't, but it sounds like fun...making a menu with "coded" names of items on it, including utensils; eaters pick a selection of choices for each might end up with a dessert as part of a first course, or no utensil (or the wrong one) to eat your choices...I think it will be fun.

    Things look lovely at your place and I can't wait to see that little house!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Yes it is funny how small things are now a big deal. I never imagined the day when I would have make my day moments like finding a bag of flour, finding toilet paper... so exciting lol. Who would have thought!?
      If we imagined this a year ago we would not have believed it!
      I think anyone who has stock or veggies needs to be a little careful. I think this might be it from now on in.
      I cant wait to see your garden this year. Your garden is glorious. I hope you have a good season. No I havent heard of a mystery dinner. I can tell you that tonights dinner is a mystery though as I have no idea yet what I will make !
      Have a beautiful weekend! I hope the lovely flowers thrive! With love

    2. Ha, ha, ha, Annabel. I'm sure your mystery about what's for dinner was solved in the end. :) The mystery dinner went over really well. It was movie themed, with 18 items on the menu, all movie titles. These represented either food or utensils. Everyone had to pick 6 items for each of 3 "courses", and hand in their choice sheet. Then I went in the kitchen and dished up the chosen items for each person. Some had dessert for first course, others had food but no utensils and had to get really creative on how to eat! They were all kept guessing until the end as to which dish or which utensil was what movie, when they told me what they thought each thing was and I revealed the answers. "Ghostbusters" was a toasted marshmallow, "South Pacific" was pineapple tea punch, "Under the Tuscan Sun" was olives, "The Great Escape" was a spoon...things like that. Lots of fun!

      Thank you for your garden far it's a boggy mess, but we do have garlic up, parsley that survived the winter, rhubarb, and 2 little lone kale plants that overwintered. Otherwise, I'm waiting for it to dry out so I can get started! I am so glad that yours is going so well!!

      Gotta run and see to dinner. xx Jen in NS

  11. I enjoy hearing how others use the resources they are given and the cubby house and raised garden bed are wonderful projects! Our biggest use of resources this week was cutting up almost 30 trees into logs and borrowing our neighbor's trailer to take them to a local mill to sell. We had a bad storm last week and all of these trees were blown down. We also have enough firewood now to last us a few winters and even many piles of firewood to sell.

    I am also using cardboard boxes that cat litter comes in, cutting them to size to fit the shelves over the washer and dryer and covering with a burlap material. These will be used for storing items like cleaning stuff, rags, lightbulbs, etc. I'm enjoying organizing with what's on hand.

    1. Jenny that was a huge project! I hope you did very well!
      It is a bonus to be so far ahead with firewood as well!
      The covered boxes will look great. Just now I have all the baby things I kept down to go through. They re all in covered boxes I did at least 30 years ago! They are all still in great shape! You had a really big week! With

  12. Happy Birthday to your beautiful Granddaughter!
    Our rural town has been hit also with theft. Farm animals stolen, mailboxes broken into and break ins. Amazon carries inexpensive cameras that link to your smartphone for no monthly fee. They are around $20.00. Just today a homeless man crawled out of the creek bed down the road. I called my neighbor to alert him. He is a Police officer and had already spotted him. We have a community mailbox down the road. I never leave mail in it overnight as they have been broken into now. People are looking for Stimulus checks.

    How nice you can get chickens. I drove passed out feed store and the line was around the building looking for just arrived chicks. Eggs have really jump in price here.

    Your Scones look delicious. Our little London Bakery closed in town. I was heartbroken. Now, the baker has been baking at home and posting on FB for porch pick ups. I miss the little tea room though.
    I have been working in my garden too. My tomato seedlings were not growing very well so I covered them with glass jars and that did the trick. Mini greenhouse. My sister also uses paper in her chicken coop. She has used Pine needles for bedding in a pinch too.
    Happy Gardening everyone.

    1. Dear Lynd, I think this issue with theft and security is widespread. SO a bit extra care is needed.
      Also yes! everyone now wants chickens! Chickens are the new toilet paper/flour/sugar and other such items! I already have 22. But I decided literally not to have all my eggs in one basket and set up a second chicken house and flock. So this is why I ordered 12 more.
      I love the sound of the bakery! It is good they still have business going even by direct pick up. There are some businesses I support like these just because they need it. We are all trying to keep going and often I can see how hard a business is trying yet they are struggling. So we try and support them somehow.
      You have reminded me... I have tiny seedlings and I was intending to cover some with jars and compare how they did compared to the others as an experiment. I will get on to that! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  13. Your granddaughter is adorable. I really miss the interaction with my granddaughters and great granddaughters because of this covid 19 stuff.
    I want to try your GF scone recipe. Thank you for sharing. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, I hope soon you can see your Granddaughters and Great granddaughters! This has been so sad and lonely for so many people. I hope the recipe goes well for you. I dont know if GF flours vary much. I just use a supermarket one and it is pretty good. With much love

  14. Dear Annabel, Happy Birthday to beautiful Harper! Isn't she just soooooo cute?!?!?!?! It looks like she had a wonderful day. I love the cubby house and can't wait to see it. those powers Chloe gave you are beautiful. My Master H turned 5 last week! I can't believe it! I only cried twice leading up to it lol Can't believe this baby is growing up. Time flies. We were allowed to go on a off we went and had the day by the creek with our pup. How lovely! He had a great day. We also have chickens! My husband built the coop and then we found a lady that was selling Australorps. So we have two beautiful girls: Ginger and Polly. I hope we can find two more. The lady was very helpful and ran a small farm, she gave us a few tips. We are complete novices. They have already begun laying eggs! It is amazing! I'm rearranging, decluttering and cleaning out bedrooms. I am both giving away and selling things. It is good to have a clear out. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Hi Bridge
      5th Birthdays are a big deal! Sounds like you had a great celebration. And yay for laying chickens! Fresh eggs are the best. Enjoy!!
      Jen (NZ)

    2. Dear Bridge, Oh I am so happy about the chickens! You will love this and so will the boys! I am so happy about R building the coop! Tel him good job! The boys are probably great little helpers to him when he is working in the yard. You can keep your feed costs pretty good. Chickens love the household scraps. Nothing goes to waste. They love meat and cheese and stuff like that too as naturally they adore protein like bugs, even mice. So dont think they are into veggie scraps only. I hope you might find two more also. With a supply of eggs you can do so much. With meat going up eggs can be a good protein source. I am always having days to use up the eggs... baked egg custard is a favourite. To me this kind of food is very good for growing kids. Take a photo for me anyway!
      Your picnic sounds beautiful and so sweet, the boys and the dog... having a great time!
      We are off now on a small afternoon outing and picnic to see if we can find this wood I hope to use for raised garden beds. I like these trips they are little adventures! With much love

    3. Thank you for these wonderful tips, Annabel. I have heard they need lots of protein, so we need to make sure we keep it up. I am pleased that between Fred (the dog) and the chickens, I don't think we will have much food waste at all. That in itself is so good! I love the wood that you found- there is so much of it. I can only imagine all the beds you can build with it and how wonderful it will all look. I hope you had a lovely picnic- they are the best! Lots of love, Bridge

  15. Annabel yay for succeeding in making beautiful scones and they look delicious :) . Pass on our birthday wishes to Harper and your flowers from Chloe for mothers day are divine. What a stroke of good luck about the smaller box you can use for a raised garden bed.

    The Eagles nest is divine and we saw a wedge tailed eagle eating on the side of the road when going into town too last week.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $546.56 in savings last week :).

    Service to others -
    - DH and I volunteered to deep clean the local RSL sub branch for opening Saturday. We swept, dusted, wiped over all surfaces with soapy water and then disinfectant and did the same with the floors and mopped them twice, once with soapy water and once with disinfectant. It took us 4 hours to complete it but it is sparkly clean and smells of a lovely pine fragrance now.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Finances -
    - Paid an extra part payment off our mortgage.
    - Deposited more money into our 3 month living expenses emergency fund bringing us to 64.77% of the way there.

    Purchases -
    - From IGA on markdown we purchased a tomato and smoked garlic topside roast and jam and cream roll, on near half price specials we also purchased blocks of Old Gold chocolate and on half price special cup of soups saving in total $26.56 on usual prices.
    - From Woolworths on special we purchased on half price specials Steggles family roast chickens and Old Gold chocolate saving in total $20 on usual prices.
    - Bought a set of trailer ramps to replace ones that broke here on eBay saving $50 over buying them elsewhere.

    In the gardens -
    - Pruned the tomato bush branches off the bushes that were touching the ground.
    - Separated out and transplanted out silverbeet seedlings growing too close together.

    Firewood -
    - From our secret squirrel location we cut free 3 cubic metres of large ironbark logs up to 40cm in diameter for firewood saving us $450 on buying it in.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      You had an excellent Vicky Challenge this week!
      The wood you are cutting just sounds fantastic! I like the name the secret squirrel! Perfect! This wood is such an asset.
      You work hard and consistently on your ways to get ahead. It is so good andI am surest inspires many others. Consistency is such a key. Rome wasnt built in a day as they say but week by week what we can achieve is amazing. I love it! Many thanks, with love, Annabel.xxxx

  16. Your blog is just wonderful. I found it quite recently due to a link on Harvest Lane Cottage, which I follow. The labels you used for your homemade "cleaning and washing"items are adorable and would certainly cheer up the shelves. Would you mind sharing them? Your little girl is such a sweetie and I love her long hair, so pretty. My daughter had hair to her waist for a couple of years and then wanted it cut.
    Your blog is filled with beauty. I love Victoria magazine and your blog reminds me of it. I'm working me way back slowly through all your posts.

    1. Thank you so much! I have also followed Harvets Land Cottage for along time! I think the labels you mean were a gift from my daughter... she had them printed for me. However you can google for free labels to print and also on ETSY you can get labels printed with any working and colours and designs... they are beautiful. I LOVED Victoria magazine. Then they stopped publishing but I think they started back up again. They were always my favourite. Thank you very much! With love

  17. That is a lovely photo of Harper.
    I often see a Wedge-tailed eagle along the side of the road as I drive home from work (being in a rural area there is always road kill to the side of the road and she makes a meal of it). I am guessing she is a female because the females are larger and she is huge. I am always happy to see her from the safety of my car - I wouldn't want to come face to face with her because of her size.
    Looking foward to the photos of the cubby house when it is done.

    1. Dear Sherri, Here on the farm years ago there was a lady who owned a tiny little terrier dog. She was out picking up wood when an eagle came down and picked up her dog! She saw it all! Between her yelling and waving her arms and the dog crying the eagle dropped the dog and it was ok... not too high up thankfully. We couldnt believe it! That was a close call!
      I am working on the cubby! I hope soon I am happy enough to share how I am going! Thanks so much! With love

  18. What a lovely week you had, Annabel!

    Happy Birthday to Harper! What a beautiful picture :)

    This week we worked on getting raised beds set up (we are a little late, but we are looking at this year as a learning opportunity for next year). I've got lots of seedlings going that I'm excited about. We also had a small Mother's Day gathering at our house with immediate family.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the cubby house. I just know the girls will have fond memories of it when they get older. How special for them :)

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Dear Jennilee,
      You are ahead of me!! I am hoping to get raised garden beds built this week! Mine will sit until our Spring though so I just want to get them built and filled before September. The cubby house is coming along I will share some pictures soon! With love

  19. Annabel it was lovely to read your story and about life in the country. I hope all of the lessons we have learned during the pandemic stay with us for a long time. If only there was more honesty in the world. Take care and enjoy the sunshine. Pauline.

    1. Thank you! I think we did learn a lot during the pandemic. I think we have a lull now that we need to use really wisely. Most people are good I think but then there are some we need to be cautious about! With much love

  20. Hi Annabel
    Just this week my husband was saying he thinks the economic fallout from the virus will lead to more crime and we must take extra security care around home.
    A friend received some advice from the police which I will pass on in case it helps anyone. Last year she noticed someone had scrawled on her front wall in red chalk so she scrubbed it off. A few days later it reappeared so she rang the police. They told her criminal gangs mark properties like this where they have spotted dogs worth stealing ( she has two pedigree dogs) and another member of the gang keeps watch for their opportunity to snatch the dogs. They advised her to be vigilant and remove any odd markings, colourful rags tied to fences etc immediately and always to have eyes on her dogs. I was grateful to her for passing on this advice as we have two beautiful dogs and we have eyes on them always.

    1. Dear Penny,
      I agree with your husband. Depression, desperation etc must lead to more problems and crime. So we just need to consider this.
      I have heard of this thing with posts or letter boxes being marked! This is so scary! I have heard something too which I will add.... in Australia at least the newer laws regarding go breeding and microchipping mean that fairly quickly the number of places you could get a dog has shrunk so much. So this will cause dogs to end up much less common and much more expensive... so this would also lead to people stealing them. I dont know how thieves get around the microchipping though...
      Sounds like we should all be watchful of any marks or as you say anything tied to our fence. Good advice. Thank you! With love

  21. This picture of Harper is priceless! Thank you! What a precious looking five year old!


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