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, 7 May 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 8th May, 2020.

It was a good week!  We started off with a big weekend.  I hired a plumber to work on the cottage and he asked if his mate could come, so I said yes.  Then he messaged later and asked if another mate could come and I said yes!  So I had three helpers and so much was done that soon the inside will be finished and I can put in furniture and decor.   It was so exciting to have this working bee.  
My policy is to always, always feed the workers.  I put out a big morning tea and then lunch was sausage rolls.  It was a cold day so a hot lunch was good.

I wrapped them up like I would scones to keep them warm.  They were a hit! 

In the evening I went on until I made four dozen.   This helped to build up my freezer and I gave some to both the girls.  

I had two sheets of puff pastry over.  As usual I had apples so I made an apple pie.

Luckily anything that goes wrong with a pie can just be called rustic and delicious! 

Back to the weekend... with the helpers around I grabbed this chance to get all the stinky old carpet hauled onto a big bonfire.  It was disgusting!    (Not exaggerating it was mouldy, full of dead flies and bees and who know what else..)

It was so satisfying to see the end of this!! 

I love a good fire.  I had an old cardboard box in the chook house and various things so I ran around and threw these all on too.  Instant clean up!

During the week Mum and I went to see the girls with a food delivery.  I made cup cakes...

Tuna mornay (I made two so we had one also.)

Apple puree and some of the sausage rolls went too.

I planted into the garden Rainbow Chard and Broccoli that I grew from seeds (quite proud lol)  and then Spinach.   They are all little but look sprightly and good.  We have had showers of rain at just the right time too.

I bartered a tray of Gingerbread and I made them into deer (ok Mooose) ...

We had rain and it looks like there is more coming over the weekend.  This will be wonderful.  When it is like this I get more cooking and sewing etc done.  

For almost five years now I have talked about building up our pantries, to take every opportunity to get ahead, build an emergency fund, meals in the freezer and so on.   Now I am going to add more.   Now I feel the same way about adding food to the garden,  skills to preserve food and the equipment to do it,  items you can produce to sell, barter, gift.  We cannot really be self sufficient in all things but we need to be self sufficient in some things.   I am trying to increase the number of things we can produce ourselves and do ourselves.  

I have a few things in mind.  Ok, I have a lot of projects!   I have things going on wherever you look! 
The pumpkin patch is getting built up with layers and layers of hay and manure and anything I can think of.   I am working to build up a second area that was my extra pumpkin patch but it needs a lot more better soil.  I want to build some raised garden beds.   The materials were my hold up...  but now I have found timber (in an old shed) that is thick and heavy!   It is too heavy to shift so we will have to cut it up on site and then load it onto the trailer.  But it is perfect.    Then I thought of all the paper shredders in the family and have secured bags and bags of shredded paper.  I have hay and I have sheep manure.   
Seriously,  keep your eyes out for ways and means.  God is good and if you are willing to do the work pray for what you need!  
So on that I will finish and go collect the eggs and feed the chickens.  

How was your week?  How did you keep things going in these times of lockdowns,  rationing,  shortages and stress?   Did you find ways to add to your pantry or garden?   

Have a good weekend! xxx


  1. I made a tuna mornay recently but it was a bit you have any tips?

    1. Earth mother, I used to use a packet of chicken noodle soup or cram of chicken soup as the base, with milk... now I make my homemade cream of chicken soup mix so I can leave out the gluten. I use one packet or equivalent per can of tuna and can of corn. When all the milk is added and it is almost done I taste it. If it doesn't taste amazing I add a little bit more dry mix, first blended in a bit of milk. Keep tasting. Good cheese on top doesnt go astray either! xxx

    2. Thanks Annabelle, I will try that!

    3. We always add some fresh chilli to ours. If there is no fresh chilli then sweet chilli sauce is added.

  2. Dear Annabel, what a beautiful post. Thank you. i love how you feed the workers. It is such a nice thing to do. I think your cottage will be lovely. What an asset to have. I also love all he cooking that you have been doing. It is so lovely that you could go and see Lucy and deliver food- what a help! I love that your seeds are sprouting. I have pumpkin that has sprouted from seeds, but I must build the soil up, as it isn't very good at all. My friend very kindly gave me a diffuser yesterday. What an amazing gift! I have oils diffusing now. I had an early morning tea for my Mum for Mother's Day. I made date loaves and we had cups of tea using crockery that was my great grand mother's (almost 100 years old). It was lovely. Restrictions are supposed to be loosening from Sunday and in the next few weeks. I am a bit nervous about it. It is rainy here too, i hope to have a pie over the weekend. A chicken pie would be delicious! Grateful for your blog! Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, Happy Mothers Day! Your morning tea with your Mum sounds lovely. My Mum is coming for afternoon tea!
      I hope your pumpkin grows, they take a lot of water as they get bigger. Our seasons are so different... I need to wait until probably end of September to plant again. Enjoy your Mothers Day! With love

  3. I had a good week, except for a repetitive strain injury. But my employer is gifting me a voice activated software programme to keep...yay me! Your week was gloriously productive as always Annabel. I'm looking forward to Mothers Day. I hope you are as blessed and treasured as you deserve to be. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I am sorry about your injury. I had tennis elbow in both arms from painting too much and it lasted so long. Bandaging help more than anything and I eventually got over it. Also Frankincense oil in emu oil. That really works amazingly. Mum uses that now on her wrists. Have a wonderful Mothers day! With love

  4. Annabel you are amazing. I am exhausted just hearing all that you did. I am wrapped up in a blanket on the couch watching the news. So exhausted from all the packing and cleaning and the move to South Aus, but we are here now and will just have to get through the 14 days of self isolation (day two today), which will help us recover. Will get some sewing done tomorrow hopefully. Yes God is Good, very good.

    1. Bev the move is a huge job. I cant even imagine moving so far! It is exciting though and Adelaide is lovely. I hope you will soon feel settled in and you are healthy and clear too. Sewing would be beautiful. Raining here tonight so it might be raining there also! Thanks so much! xxx

  5. It sounds like a lovely eventful week for you. Your food always looks so good. I always find it so interesting how the names of various foods sound so very lovely there compared to the U.S. words!
    Yes, we really need to explore new ways. There are so many things that we can do, that we have just never thought of before. We need to keep educating one another.
    Thank you and have a great weekend

    1. Thanks Cheryl and this week has almost gone already too! I am feeling exactly the same as you. I have lately discovered so many things I never knew were even options! I have such a long list of projects underway. I wish I had my Nan here to ask more questions. It is kind of exciting to learn a lot of new possibilities. We think alike! xxx

  6. You are a genius, Annabel! I never thought about a paper shredder! Now I know what to do with all of that paper DH shreds! Pure genius!

    You certainly had quite the busy, productive week. I've just been slowly getting my house cleaned. Definitely a process, but very satisfying.

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Dear Jennilee, Sorry to be so slow to reply! Well now I have quite a few big bags of shredded paper. I did some research. Here at least I know now that ink on the paper is non toxic and soy based. The paper is fine so it breaks down really fast! It is absorbent so it is also awesome in the chicken house and becomes great fertiliser from ending up mixed with chicken manure. Anyway now my chicken nesting boxes are full of shredded paper. The eggs stay clean and the nests are soft. Now to get these garden beds built. I have everyone saving paper. I hope you had a good week. I better get up the new Friday post! With love

  7. I always look forward to Friday mornings and your wonderful posts. You are my very best inspiration to keep on keeping on. Everyday I check a few things off my to-do list and then add some new ones on. I did canning and rehydrating this week and got the gardens all weeded so that is a good feeling. Now it's time to declare war on the insects and varmints that are coming out of the woodwork! We are just waiting on the wind to die down here so we can burn our wood piles. I love your sharing with Lucy and those moose gingerbreads :D.

    1. Thank you so much Pam. We have to keep on going and use every opportunity! So that was such a nice thing to say. You did a lot with your week! I hope you were able to have your fires... I have some more planned! Thanks Pam, with love,

  8. Your cooking always looks so good. I would be happy to be your helper! Have a great mother's day!

    1. Thank you Vickie, I hope you had a great Mothers Day

  9. I am sure those workers were very grateful for the wonderful food. I can't hardly wait to see the cottage! Burning all that yucky carpet would have made me happy, too. Your pie looks beautiful!

    I am grateful to be able to cut my husband's hair in this time of no barbers being open. I have cut it for 41 years and saved an awful lot of money. Now I just need him to learn to cut mine......maybe.

    We were able to restock bread flour and coffee beans this week. We made a trip to the discount grocery store and found the most wonderful foods. They are getting restaurant food since so many are closed. We stocked up on ground pork for 75 cents a pound, Angus beef patties at $2.50 a pound, beef smoked sausage at 3 pounds for $4.49, beautiful restaurant portions of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $2 a pound and 2 pounds of frozen avocado slices for $3.99 and a 2.5 pound bag of roasted red pepper strips for $2.99. Also a restaurant key lime pie for $3.49 for Mother's Day dessert. They had cases and cases of beautiful cakes and pies for less than it would cost to make them at home but freezer space would not allow a stock up of those. They also had beautiful frozen vegetables for restaurants but they were huge bags and again the freezer is full. It was fun shopping there. We have been blessed to able to fill our freezer with meat for very little over the last few weeks. It pays to seek out these grocers who specialize in selling surplus foods.

    We are finding more and more ways to stay stocked up by thinking differently than we did before. I never have jalapenos on hand when I need them. Then I thought of chopping and flash freezing them like I do chopped peppers. This keeps me from buying them and wasting them. We keep many items in the freezer this way that we did not in the past. Thanks to Patsi's long ago post I now have jars of frozen lemon and lime wedges and have stopped wasting them as well.

    Have a happy weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I am glad you had such good finds at the grocery store. It is so nice to stock up and at a good price. We have Angas cattle on our farm! Just had to tell you that. All my calves have been Black Angas.
      I have also found the frozen veggies from restaurant suppliers to be giant bags. I got a few in but now my freezer is also full!
      You had a good week. I agree we need to think outside the square! With much love,

  10. I am feeling very despondent this week and ashamed to be English, but I am going to try to find some positives.
    I finished a needlepoint cushion which has been a WIP for almost 12 months, I had to stop in the autumn as I couldn't differentiate between some of the colours in artificial light. Like you said about your greetings cards last week Annabel, it's a zero skill thing, but oh how I have enjoyed doing it! I bought the kit in a charity shop for £3 and I will be keeping my eyes open for more when charity shops do eventually reopen. The downside is that I don't have an appropriate fabric in my stash to make up the cushion cover.
    I have planted runner beans, rainbow chard, little gem lettuce, peas and basil and have sown patty pan squash. I also managed to buy a couple of pumpkin plants (I don't think my seed was viable), courgettes and a bell pepper plant. I have been totally unable to find tomato seeds or plants and it's too late now to try sowing any even if I did find seeds.
    I am making a very determined effort to make my living room a better, more usable, lighter, better organised room. I am going to need paint, so I am going to have to venture out, but I'm pleased with my results so far. I do want a large mirror, but since I am allergic to normal, retail prices that again will have to wait until charity shops reopen.i am midway through recovering one chair and also want to make new covers for the rocking chair. I am in no rush, I want to get it right.
    And that, really has been my week. Not that much happened due to work and migraine but any progress is good.
    Please everyone have a good week, take care and smile.

    1. I love " but since I am allergic to normal, retail prices " I think most of us are, I know I am!

    2. Dear Su, I hope you are feeling better. Don't give up. Britain is a great and mighty country with a rich history and we feel connected. I too get very upset about somethings... you would not be the only one.
      Well done on your needlepoint. Needlework is so soothing I think.
      I love all you have planted. I put in Rainbow Chard too!
      My best mirrors have been from the side of the road, garage sales and op shops. I love them. I have a lot as I love light and mirrors add light.
      Your projects are lovely and I hope you felt better and no more migraines! With love

  11. The sausage rolls look fantastic! Thank you for the encouragement to continue preparation and working to help not only our own pantry but others too! Love your posts!

  12. I can imagine burning the old carpet must have been a great feeling Annabel!! Are there lovely old floorboards underneath? How exciting to make so much progress so quickly. Nearly up to the fun bit!

    The workers will be keen to come back if they are getting such yummy lunches! Do you make gluten free pastry? I have only ever bought it and it is horrible to work with.

    We've had a nice week at home, my kids have each had a night where they've made dinner. They still need quite a bit of help but I think it's really good for them to learn skills like preparing vegetables etc. As always there has been lots of baking, and this will continue this weekend as our littlest miss is turning 2 tomorrow! Just a small home party with her siblings, but that's what we would have done whether we were in lockdown or not.

    I made a late call to turn 48 granny squares into a blanket for her so I need to try and sew them together today. She absolutely loves 'blanks'as she calls them, so hopefully I can get that done today. The granny squares were finished last year in August, so it's definitely time to put them to use!

    I hope you have a lovely weekend and are able to have a nice Mother's Day celebration somehow.

    Take care
    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, Yes! Under the stinky old carpet were floorboards!! Amazing. What luck... easy to clean up and just lovely for the rustic look I am going for.
      Yes gf bought pastry is hopelessly fragile. If you let it warm up like on top of the warm oven it becomes ok. I have made it... suing Maggie Beers recipe and it was pretty good. But when I am doing big cook up this would set me back about two days lol
      I love that your kids are learning to cook dinner. Once I had a migraine and Chloe was about five so Lucy must have been 3. I heard Chloe saying they will start dinner. It was about 3 oclock in the afternoon. They lined up everything and had carrots out to chop. I listened as they planned all this before I had to help!
      I cant believe your little girl is 2! What a lovely age. Harper is 5 tomorrow! I hope you enjoyed the special day.
      Scarlett is funny about blankets we all have made. She is very attached to them. Just loves them also.
      Hope the week has gone well. Sorry for such a slow reply! With love,

  13. Dear Annabel,
    It looks like this past week was a very productive and full of some very good things. It must be so exciting to see the cottage take shape. I feel the same way you do about increasing garden space. One of the ways I increased space a few years ago was to take some Large rubbermaid storage containers and had my husband drill holes in the bottom. I then cut up some old panty hose to cover the holes with, added a bit of gravel we had on top of that for drainage and filled them with soil mixing in what we've come to call "instant compost", which is vegetable scraps mixed with water and epsom salts and pureed in the blender and then buried in the soil. They have worked out very well and I've grown tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers in them over the years.

    I started a re-grow vegetables from food scrap little garden and now the celery has tiny little stalks, the scallions have tails, and the bok choy has sprouted new leaves. Yesterday I put some onion bottoms into water. As soon as the weather warms they will be planted in containers . It's an interesting experiment. We pulled out our icecream maker this week and made coconut milk icecream, with our abundance of carrots from the farmers market I grated quite a few of them and portioned them out and froze them for future use for carrot cake. I've been crocheting spa clothes, and getting ahead making all occasion cards for future gifts and future use. It will be raining here too this weekend and frigid temps so we'll be sitting by the fire for sure. Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Thanks for sharing how you have made pots! And your instant compost!
      I want to see your spa clothes! Your weather currently sounds about the same as ours!
      I made progress on gathering for my raised garden beds only I will be planting winter veggies first...but be ready for a big start in Spring too! With much love,

  14. All is well here in Missouri USA, smack dab in the middle!
    We had our garden area tilled last week, and this weekend is planting weekend. I also want to do some baking and maybe even make some jalapeno and/or cucumber jam.

    Will you please share your recipe for the sausage rolls including what kind of sausage? They look so delicious.

    Thanks so much. I did make a post on my thrifty week this morning. You can check it out if you'd like.

    God bless you and help you as you plan and prepare.

    1. Dear Laura, I hope the planting is going well and the weather is cooperating.
      I totally cheat on the sausage rolls most times. I get a bulk pack of sausages usually beef but pork are ok too... take the skins off, and pretty much wrap in puff pastry. No brainier lol but it works!
      Thank you I will read up what you have been doing. Thanks so much Laura, with love

  15. Yes Annabel, God is good, and I am grateful for his loving kindness.
    Your baking looks delicious. I made an apple crumble last week because I had granny smith apples that needed to be used up. My husband made another one this week while I was at work and I noticed when we went shopping yesterday that he added a tin of pie apples to the trolley. Oh dear! I think I will distract him and make a banana loaf today. :-)
    We harvested our pumpkins this week and the last of our corn. The pumpkins are now hardening off. I had prepared a new bed for the next lot of corn but tomato seedlings have popped up there (must be from our compost, which probably means I am not making my compost properly because a well-made compost is supposed to kill seeds, so one doesn't spread weeds with their compost). Anyway I am going to let the mystery tomatoes grow and interplant with Loveage, Carrots, Squash, and maybe some onions and marigold too. Or I might try garlic in that bed instead of squash not completely sure at the moment. I have also made home-made horticultural/white oil spray yesterday. I have a sweet potato in the pantry that is beginning to shoot, so I will need to plan ahead and amend the garden bed I intend to grow the sweet potato.

    1. Dear Sherri, I think probably the mystery tomatoes will turn out to be great. So good to have pumpkins! Your garden sounds like it will be beautiful!
      I am not very good at making compost (that heats up and kills the seeds etc) but if seeds com up then I replant them. They deserve a chance is my thinking! The apple crumble sounds beautiful... these old fashioned deserts are the best! With love,

  16. This week, Bluey and I have done an 'Annabel'. When I heard we could travel more than 50kms on Sunday, Mothers Day, I rang Mum and asked if she and Dad would like an overnight visitor. It was a very happy yes. Both Mum and dad are recovering from falls and operations so I thought a meals on wheels run would be a good idea. We have made them 15 meals for two. 6 Lasagna, 3 meatballs and gravy, 3 tuna mornay and pasta and 2 meat patties for burgers. Today I will bake up some cakes and slices for them to have for sweet treats. I have also done a full grocery shop of basics for them. Tomorrow I will be on the road and will return Monday. I am already booked as a taxi driver Monday morning to get both Mum and Dad to medical appointments. Hopefully this will see them being able to stay at home and not worry about needing anything for at least two weeks. They need this time to heal.
    Trying to convince them they are not young and need to slow down, stay at home and stay safe, is quite a battle.
    During the week I have been proof reading a few items for various people and making a few changes and suggestions.
    One of my embroidery machine USB's corrupted so I had to replace it using backup files. I found the item causing the issues and have deleted it. I have since been on the embroidery machine making a couple of items for Mothers Day gifts.
    The garden is producing lots of greens, herbs and sweet potato for our table and for trading with our neighbours. I have not had to purchase eggs since March. I do love the trading.
    I must get myself up and into the kitchen to get this baking done. Mum is getting Unicorn cupcakes with purple icing. I am rather looking forward to this little tasty and silly treats.
    life is baking busy good.

    1. Dear Jane, Fifteen meals for two is amazing! This will help your parents so much. I saw what you were making too and it all looked beautiful. This is probably the best gift you could give.
      I heard this about USB's in relation to photos. USB's are not a good way to store photos it turns out. So I am glad you could replace it and had a back up.
      Have a safe and wonderful trip! With lots of love

  17. How kind of you to feed the workers. I'm sure they really appreciated it. And those gingerbread moose are adorable!
    I have been saving quite a bit lately, cancelling some subscription services and having a no-spend April (and working on a no-spend May). Then our water heater broke and had to be replaced! But I have been encouraged at how much more we can tighten our belts, and how many things I already have here in my home that can be reused or repurposed. My husband is still working, but we have no idea how this is all going to work out, and I'm glad to be planning better. Since I feel now so much more comfortable with my sewing machine from making masks, I have attempted some tailoring of some of my clothes, too. Happy Mother's Day.

    1. Dear Deborah, Well done! It is great your husband is still working and I hope this continues. But yes it is good to plan and build up savings. It is fantastic you feel more confident with your sewing! This is so useful!
      Have a very Happy Mothers Day to you also! With love

  18. Love to read what all you are accomplishing. How nice of you to feed the workers! I dehydrated boughten canned pineapple chunks this week. They are like eating a piece of candy. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, I love pineapple! It is so good and goes with many things! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  19. Dear Annabel and bluebird friends,
    Thank you for sharing your lovely week with us Annabel ,you were so busy and productive .
    I have a fairly full pantry ,fridge and freezer so shopping day this time was just filling in the gaps and buying some shampoo and conditioner in large pump bottles which was the most expensive part of my shop but will last me a very long time so it's cost effective .
    I have been using my tea bag supplies during this pandemic and feel so grateful to have had the skills and foresight to stockpile my tea when it was half price because I haven't seen that price in a long time and it's my favourite tea ever!. I still have five boxes or more in my pantry which will last me a long time.
    I earnt 2000 bonus points on our fly buys system by spending what I was going to spend anyway so I redeemed it for $10 off my shop which will be used for half price items turning it into $20 worth or I will use it to buy a gift ,however I have plenty of gifts in my gift cupboard right now and enough food so for now it will be saved until another day.
    I have gotten back into craft after a long time away from it and I am loving it .I have so far made about 10 mini cards ,very simple.i forgot to take photos so can't share them in the Tuesday group but when I make more I will share them ...oops!.
    I am having to accept more help than I am comfortable asking for but it's taking a lot of pressure off my parents and stress and worry and frustration off myself .my care agency are wonderful .
    Happy mother's day to all the mothers .
    Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, I would not want to be without my favourite tea either. My favourite is Dilmah extra strong. I love it!
      I only buy on big specials too ad get ahead then.
      I am glad you are feeling better enough to do some crafting Barb! That is wonderful. I hope the new week is going well! With love,

  20. Annabel your baking and cooking looks delicious as usual :) . Glad you got rid of the old carpet with helpers and have been able to build up the garden beds and plant more vegetables.

    I agree we all need to build up our pantries, emergency funds and do as much as we can to be more self sufficient where we can to build up our families long term security.

    Here is what we got up to this week and our Vicky Challenge added up to $351.64 in savings last week :) .

    Blessings -
    - Received 3 large red capsicums for trading sweet potato stem cuttings with our neighbour so he could grow them in his garden.
    - We received a wonderful email from a local business who said yes to us cutting firewood free on their premises and we have sole access. Yay we have secured our supply of firewood for years to come and will supply some to others in need that we find and know about too.

    They had pushed up 14 km of ironbark trees to build a fence so we contacted our local police officer who gave us the name and phone number of one of the workers there to contact so we phoned him and emailed the business. Local networking and being observant is a wonderful way of finding out contacts and sourcing things you might need for your home.

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

    Purchases -
    - Bought 3 stretch lounge covers for our recliners in the lounge room from eBay saving $292.86 over buying them locally.
    - Bought a quilted pet lounge cover from eBay saving $21.96 over buying them locally.

    In the gardens and property -
    - Cut up 1 large tree limb fallen from an ironbark tree in our back property boundary and brought it up to the top of the hill. Two more large branches yet to cut up that also fell off the same tree. We are cleaning up the underbrush while it is cool before bush fire season later in the year.
    - Broke up smaller branches/twigs into kindling size pieces and made 90 litres of them and stacked them in the lean-to shed kindling pile.
    - Dragged up the rest of the small branches and put them in a separate pile at the top of the hill.
    - Stacked the firewood we had split a few weeks ago in the firewood shed in two high piles on corrugated iron.
    - Picked up the wood chips from splitting them with our 20T hydraulic log splitter and put them in a box making about 3 kg of them saving $29.97 over buying them and we will use them in our wood smoker to smoke meat with.
    - Filled in more holes from previous tenants dogs at the back of the property with soil from one of the unused garden beds we dug.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, Wow on the firewood to cut!! Well done for asking and following it all up!! I am an asker. Many people are afraid to ask... I ask "can I pick the fruit on that tree?" and other things and the answer usually yes! With wood if they are not cutting it they are probably glad to have it cleaned up! Having wood lined up is like money in the bank. Maybe better!
      Saving the wood chips for the smoker is brilliant too.I see a lot of hauling and walking up and down the hill in your week. I am saving some branches we cut and some logs I find to go into the bottom of the raised garden beds I am planning. I will post about that Friday I have had good luck with wood this week too!
      You are getting so much done. The two of you are fit I think with all of the thing you do! I am collecting kindling too and I even love baskets of kindling, to me they look lovely! I have many baskets of pinecones lined up too!
      I hope the new week will be good for you! We had rain now sunshine. I need to do a trip into town. I have a lot of projects on the go! We have many similarities I think! With much love

  21. Dear Annabel, your posts are always so encouraging and beautiful!

    We had the opportunity to get together with our older daughter and family a couple of times this week, while still observing social distancing. Yesterday, we participated in a parade type celebration of our oldest granddaughter's graduation from college. Although not the family weekend get away to the beach for her graduation we had anticipated, it was still good. Earlier in the week, we helped them moving some things. Hubby was pleased to take a few things he has been wanting to get rid of to the mobile dumpster they had rented. While at their old house, they offered me some thyme and oregano and I ended up taking some of the plants. There is at least one of each that looks to have survived the transplant. They are welcome additions to my garden. We also received a dozen large lemons and several tomatoes from son-in-law's parents who live near there. Our daughter has picked up a few things at Costco for us, including bath tissue and big bags of chocolate chips.

    Between what was already in our pantry and things we have been given or been able to buy, we feel quite blessed. We are still trying to be extra careful to stretch food and other supplies, restocking as possible and eating fresh or frozen food before canned or dried. I picked the last of my lettuce this morning. I'm watching a couple other lettuce plants that are going to seed so I can save their seeds. Even though most of my seeds are older, I have plants growing from most of them. My pumpkins didn't come up, so I replanted. I have pepper plants growing from seeds of peppers that we were given and have been saving seeds from squash and tomatoes as we eat them.

    We have been using disposable masks which I had on hand. This week, I hope to get a few cloth masks made. Living in a large, metropolitan area, I anticipate using masks for a while.

    My husband's birthday was this week. I made an eggless chocolate cake recipe into cupcakes and found a vanilla frosting recipe online that will be a new favorite. Was able to send some home with daughter for her family, too.

    Younger daughter had given me a kit to make 10 lovely cards. I put them together and mailed out to friends and family.

    Wishing you and the rest of the Bluebirds a belated Happy Mother's Day!
    With love from Arizona, USA

    1. Dear Elaine, You did have a good week! Things came into your pantry and garden and you saw family! The card making would have been lovely. I am finding in the current situation that mail is something really nice we can do. Especially to the lovely or just need cheering up.
      Yes I think making masks is a good idea. I have for my family and I have spares. If you can obtain any N95s or N99s do but overall we use cloth. While there is a bit of a lull in panic (as there is here) I figure it is the time to maybe get some more. If there is a second wave of this thing then we will be ahead.
      Your garden is sounding so good. So does that cake! I hope the new week will be another good one! Being productive each week as we can helps so much! And it feels good. And we can help others! With much love

  22. Annabel,
    Another productive week you've had! I am the same and agree feeding the workers is a good thing. I have known a few with tight budgets who could not afford a lunch even one from home and were so grateful.
    Lol I hope to join you in burning some old stinky carpet soon! I had to laugh because whenever we have a fire I also look for things to get rid of. The next thing will be that broken chair it started raining so it will have to wait.
    Our weather is still not consistent and I really hope that since we are still getting some snow and cold that Autumn will not be cold or we will have a short growing season this year.
    Before it turned cold again I did get some more weeding done in my strawberry bed and had Rick tune up my tiller so it's ready to go because I will be planting peas soon hopefully. And I found some more sprout potatoes that I will be able to plant. It won't be a large harvest of them, but I'll be happy with anything.
    We sold lots of eggs this week and bartered some too. I messed up a cake and it was too crumbly, but a wartime cook book came to the rescue and I made something else from it. I could have made cake pops, but I was feeling too lazy for that. I also made cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls.
    My oldest stopped over and brought me some sausages and brats. You have to love gifts of food! If I find a deal on pork butts we are going to make some smoked sausages. My granddaughter wants to come back and make chicken again. She's a great little helper.
    I agree that we need to be as self sufficient as we possibly can and also to pass on these skills to those who want to learn.
    I was able to work a few rows on the afghan that's taking me forever to do and mend a few things for Todd. Lol he made the bearded dragon a sweater from an old glove! I picked up wood chippings for kindling and have all of the medical supplies organized I just need to find a good spot to put it all now so it can be in one spot. I also got a few freebies in the mail.

    1. Dear Vicky, That was a busy week! A fire is a great clean up! I love it! I am itching to have some more.
      It is exciting that soon it will be time to plant. I love your garden. I hope it goes well this year and I want to see lots of photos!
      So good about the eggs. They ware so good for the household and also selling and bartering as you say!
      I started with fishing tackle type boxes for medical but now I have a whole special cupboard. It has grown a lot! Being able to find things quickly is a part of it too.
      I was glad you got to see your older son! That made it a good week! With much love,


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