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 25 June 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 2020.

Last weekend I had Scarlett come to stay so we were busy for a few days. She is just happy to do everything along with me.    Lucy has less than two weeks before the baby arrives.  She isn't sleeping and could do with some prayers.

Of course we had to go visit Aunty Chloe and see Paddy...

Paddy was so dirty from rolling in mud!   🙄

At home we made Honey Crackles.  It is so many years since I made them.  I had to dig out my old recipe.  Being easy Scarlett pretty much filled all the cup cake liners herself and it was a case of eat a bit, put some in the pan, but she loved it.

I told the girls how Mummy and Chloe used to take these to school.  Anyway, they loved them so honey crackles are back!  I love how many of the old recipes are so good.  Nan used to make Rock Cakes.  This is another one I would like to resurrect!

I finally finished my rug for the lounge.  A rug in Australia is a blanket, or a badly concealed coupe. haha.  The things that go on the floor are mats.  I learned to say this because in The Tuesday Club it was very funny as people were wondering why I would put this on the floor!   So it is to be on my lounge, in the cold months, to be warm and snuggly.  It took forever!

It is all pure wool and I have left overs so now I am working to use those up.

My A Working Pantry assignment for the week was to add meals to the freezer.   I made several Shepherds Pies.  I cook them a little under so when they are recooked they will not be too dark on top.  So they look a little pale.   We had one for dinner and it was beautiful.   Meals added to the freezer is a good thing!

I also stood and made up ham and cheese rolls and croissants to freeze.  Both rolls and croissants were half price.  Made up rolls are so handy.  I warm them up quickly and they are like fresh. 

If I ever have ham or roast meat left over (that is not enough for a meal) I usually make up rolls to freeze.  

I added to my raised garden beds.   In went squashed cardboard boxes, manure and a dead rabbit.  I think Andy might wonder if I am the only person alive who can be pleased about a dead rabbit. 

Buddy has been promoted to the orchard paddock.  He is a month old today.  And a very good little eater.  He has a morning and evening bottle now.   

We have underground water and rain water.  Most of the time the house is on rain water and the garden on bore water.  Rain water is beautiful but gets gum leaves in it sometimes and this affects my white linens.  I decided to give up on so many whites and dyed two sets of cotton sheets.  They turned out wonderfully and look fresh and new.  Not quite white looks dingy so this was my solution.

I made a cake to take over to Chloe and one for us and some slices for the freezer.

Things have been pretty good, supply wise, at our local supermarket.   But now our neighbouring state is experiencing empty shelves again.  This has come about because the virus has taken off there again and they really do not look like they have it contained.  While the shelves have been good I restocked everything we needed and we have even been able to get hand sanitiser, masks and many things that were impossible to get a couple of months ago.   They will all probably disappear again.   I got ahead with towels and linen also.  I keep working on my pantry.   Gradually (after lots of sorting out cupboards and re arranging) I have re homed things like canning supplies to other cupboards.  This has given me more room in the pantry for actual food.  When I stocked up fast a lot of things were put in funny places.  Now I have things so I can actually see how much pasta do I have?  How much rice? And so on.  All my jars are topped up.  Keeping a well stocked pantry is kind of an endless job but so important.  I have dried parsley to add to a jar today.  

With so many things going on and changes to our normal lives we need to think differently.  While we need to be awake and watchful we don't want to be fearful.  Being prepared takes a whole lot of pressure off.   The wise woman is not afraid of the winter.  It is true.  Prudence and ingenuity might be the words for the second half of 2020!

How did you manage to build up your home, pantry or garden?   It all counts! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel,
    My gosh young Scarlet is looking more like you as she grows up. When she was born I thought how much she looked like your mum but now I can see much more similarity between you and her. Sorry to hear Lucy is struggling. All my best wishes and of course prayers to her.
    I can hardly believe buddy is a month old already. The months are flying buy.
    Yesterday I too did some baking and revisited some childhood favourite biscuits(cookies). I made hokey pokey biscuits and peanut brownie biscuits. Both are old Edmonds Cookbook recipes. If anyone is interested just google edmonds hokey pokey biscuits and the same for the peanut brownie ones.
    A short week for me as I have had today off to visit my dad in hospital. He has just had a second hip replacement. He came through it well. They commented on how strong his bones are for an 84 year old man. When he was a boy he grew up on a farm and while they did not have a lot of money he had good, healthy food. He has always been active. First as a young boy,man on his parents farm and later in his own garden. The hospital he is in is a new public one and is lovely. He has his own room and is very comfortable. Last time he was in a private hospital but once you get to the age of 80 the insurance costs sky rocket. We are so fortunate to have a pretty good public health system, compared with some parts of the world.

    I have been reading about the increases in covid cases in Victoria Annabel and as they warned us here we would get more cases also. There have been some issues here of authorities let people out too soon and not testing properly, so that has been tightened up. I certainly don't see a trans-tasman bubble opening until at least next year, for both countries sake.

    Have a happy and safe weekend all.


    1. Dear Mandy, When I look at Scarlett I just see her Dad! She is a mini female version of him! It is funny how different aspects as seen by people.
      I am going to look up the hokey pokey biscuits thank you.
      I hope your Dad is doing well. Your Dad is the same age as mine. I hope the op really helps him with his mobility.
      Things have continued to get worse in Victoria. Our main shopping centre is not far from the border. It is a worry. We are praying to get this baby here before Covid gets to the town and hospital. I think we are cutting it very fine.
      I think we all need to be careful and watchful! Many thanks Mandy, with love,

  2. What a lovely week you had, hope all goes well with Lucy.
    I know what you mean about slightly dingy whites. My summer weight dressing gown is white and no matter how I washed etc the cuffs just looked a bit dingy. There's nothing wrong with it, still in good condition so I dyed it fuschia pink. Not dingy any more!
    I am trying to build the larder back up again, along with all the other household goods. This time around I learnt how important it is to have a good supply of stamps on hand so I dont have to stand in queues, I can whizz things off in the post. We have learnt so many lessons from this!

    1. Penny good job on that dressing gown! Stamps!!! That is a good point! Anything that avoids a queue. Yes we have learned a lot. I am trying to use this time well as we may have a second round... over the border from us are a lot of cases... I hope your new week is going well! Love

  3. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds!!

    I, too, thought that Scarlett looked a bit like her Grandma!! She is a cutie!!

    I remember chocolate crackles, and rock cakes (my Dad likes them!) ..... these are good memories, worth revisiting!!

    I keep discovering more basic, better ways; more efficient ways; and creativity with what I have!! Also, my polycarbonate greenhouse is on its way!!

    May the Almighty be strength for Lucy and their baby!!


    1. Dear Rachel, Thank you! Well she is a lot like her Dad too. I remember chocolate crackles too. Now I know your greenhouse arrived. I am thinking you have a spot for it. I cant wait to see it up and running! This is a great investment! Very exciting! Thanks you for the prayers. Very appreciated! With much love

  4. I feel for Lucy, insomnia, no matter what the cause is just awful and so debilitating. I hope she gets over it soon.
    Paddy always looks so gentle and comes across as a real 'gentleman'.
    Dyeing fabrics isn't cost effective anymore here. Dyes are difficult to get hold of and the online prices are ridiculous, they're about £8 for one dye, which would probably only dye one sheet. Dyeing used to be a favourite thing of mine and many a charity shop buy has been transformed, but no longer...
    This week I have -
    Bought new bedding! I did need it but after reading of ladies struggling to get any and we no longer have a cotton weaving or indeed sewing industry, so I can't imagine it will be long before we see shortages. I don't need towels, in fact I don't think I'll need any more towels in my lifetime!
    Found a lovely, simple vase for my bedroom in a charity shop.
    Began writing put all my 'staple' recipes, so that they're all in one place and I know where they are. I have also devised a better way of storing the ones ripped out of newspapers and magazines.
    Used the base of an electric wax tart burner thingy as a teapot warmer! Even with 3 teacosies the tea didn't stay warm enough for my liking and since my teapot is stainless steel it's not going to come to any harm. The bonus is that I now find I need to use less tea!
    This week I actually feel like I'm getting somewhere with my gardens. I have been working on them for weeks and weeks and weeks, but I can now see things developing and getting to how I want them to be. This sounds like I have rolling acres, in fact my front garden is 15' x 30' and my back yard 15' x15'! My excuse is that I have to use every inch. Since I live in a small terraced house I am extremely fortunate to have any garden at all, I am not complaining in any way, just explaining.
    So that was my week. I hope everyone has had the best week possible. Stay safe and take care, all.

    1. Dear Su,
      That is really interesting about the dyes! It was $5 for me to do one set. (of sheets) which is ok considering the result. I wonder if Ebay would be any better? I have heard this though ... a certain ointment commonly used is $15 here and almost $1000 in the US... and I thought it couldnt be right but it was!
      New bedding is a good investment! And so nice! Writing up the staple recipes is very good. I stick many of mine inside my cupboard doors. But I have them on cards too.
      Well done on the garden progress! This area you can still grow a lot.. think of going up up up.
      That was a good week Su! With love

  5. Dear Annabel, I have to agree with Mandy , my first thought at seeing Scarlett's photo was how much she looks like you , as well as Lucy and Chloe. Prayers said for Lucy and hope all goes well for baby and her .
    Not a lot of doing going on here except the usual dinners , basic chores, and baking for DH's lunches .Getting back into some routine around visiting my recently widowed DMil and taking her to do her errands as well as little outings & shopping and DD and family living with us . The youngest is keeping us on our toes and into everything but I do love him dearly . He loves what I have for breakfast, races over to to climb on my lap to have some blueberries with Greek Yoghurt or Porridge , not quite what his older sibslings had at his age haha . Just building some stocks so I can make some relishes in the next few days .Have a good weekend Annabel and Bluebirds, Love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Thank you! Maria you have your hands full. You are doing a wonderful job, truly. I am seeing quite a number of ladies now in similar situations caring for extra family. Actually our PM was on TV today comparing now with the 1930s and I think he is on to something.
      The time with the little ones is very precious. This will have a very lasting impact on their lives.
      Relishes sound lovely! I am saving jars and think of the things I can do in Spring and Summer! With much love

  6. You have surely been busy. Love all the cooking you have done.
    I do not want to be fearful but mindful. I, myself am worried about our upcoming elections this fall - but just have to pray that all goes according to God's plan.

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      All the way over here, because I have you and others as US friends I watch the coming time before the elections. Also our live in Australia has always followed behind the US in so many ways. It is like a glimpse into the future, very often at least. We have faith and because we put our worries into action this really helps! I still feel this way.. be watchful and sensible and prudent. Also the younger ones look to us. We need to be a good example as far as we can be! Thank you Cheryl, with love,

  7. Dear Annabel,

    As usual you have accomplished heaps in your week! I love your rug...or we would call it an "afghan". Your living room is beautiful. Scarlett is so cute. What are honey crackles? They look like they might be one of those stovetop/no bake kind of goodie, but I've never heard of them before.

    My garden is all in, and I need to take a photo or two before it gets past the "pretty" stage, ha, ha. We have been eating radishes, lettuce, green onions, rhubarb, swiss chard (some volunteer plants that grew up in the raspberry bed...while we are waiting for this year's crop to mature).

    We have been having horrendously hot weather here. Well, compared to what you get, it's nothing, but very hot for here. We went straight from frosty nights to weather we normally have in mid- to late-summer. Needless to say, my warm weather crops are coming up nicely, and I am babying along things like green peas, which don't like that heat.

    I am booked to have a root canal next week on the tooth that got infected during lockdown. I'm not looking forward to that appointment, but the good thing is, once it's done, the tooth won't bug me any more!

    My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks, so I coated a fruitcake with almond paste yesterday, and hope to get on the foundation coat of royal icing next week. I will send this cake, along with some hand-embroidered monogrammed napkins, as a substitute for my being there to celebrate. (They live far away, and we still can't really travel much, here.)

    Other than that, I've just been doing the normal stuff! I love reading about your week...thanks for posting!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. P.S. I forgot to say that I am keeping Lucy in my prayers...I hope she has gotten some sleep!

      xx Jen

    2. Dear Jen, Thank you for praying. We now have one week to go!
      Jen read up on the root canal. If it is a front tooth that is visible this might be needed. However I am very wary to have one as I have know several people to have them only for an underlying infection to remain for years. It is like entombing a dead tooth. So I had a tooth removed rather than this. This is your choice so you do a little looking into it. But an infection is just awful.
      This cake will be amazing! Congratulations to your parents! So will the napkins!
      I hope your garden is doing ok with this heat? It does seem very sudden!
      Have a very good new week Jen, with love

  8. I had a little giggle about your dead rabbit, I have a dead perch (fish) that my son brought home for the cat... but I think it’s going to go under a new plant in my garden! This week I made elderflower cordial, rose elixir, and pesto. I weeded my veggie boxes and donated the weeds to the hens, who were very happy! One of the weeds( horsetail) is a terrific pest, almost impossible to eradicate, but I recently learned it is actually a really useful herb to take against joint pain and arthritis. So I carefully harvested it and am now drying it. How my attitude changed to the bountiful harvest of exactly the herb I need, as opposed to the awful invasive weed that I had before! Sadly these corona days are bringing many small businesses to their ends. This morning we drove to our favourite garden centre for their going out of business sale. I stocked up on herbs, a new apple tree, and some berry bushes. We also bought two trees as a twenty first birthday and a wedding gift, and some rose bushes. All at half price.
    Please could you post the honey crackle recipe? I’ve only ever made chocolate crispies🙂 Have a lovely weekend and best wishes for Lucy’s safe delivery.

    1. Dear Gill,
      The elderflower cordial sounds just lovely! So do rose exilic and pesto! I hope next summer to mack much more pesto.
      Yes Horsetail seems to be an unusual weed to have!! Good thinking to put it to good use!
      Its terrible the garden centre is going out of business... but great you got deals and could add to your garden. I added some blueberry bushes... so I will see how they do.
      I will get the honey crackle recipe up. I might make some more and I will promise to include the recipe. Thanks Gill, With love

  9. Scarlet is growing up so fast! She is beautiful! How fun to play in the kitchen with the grands! I will be praying for Lucy. Those last weeks are a trial.

    Our oldest son's family is on a big road trip vacation and they keep sending us pictures of three of our grandchildren standing on mountain tops and on the edge of cliffs It is scaring us silly. I will be so glad when they are back home!

    Our numbers are way up here so I am thinking things could get locked down again. We are being mindful of the pantry and being sure we have everything in place for another stay at home order. We are not fearful but just wanting to be ready.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      Thank you for praying. Once week to go now!
      Oh I would be the same! Stay away from cliffs I say! My heart would be in my mouth!
      We have the same issue. Our neighbouring state is in a lot of trouble with the virus. This is not all far from us really. We want to get this baby here safely before our areas are overtaken... so close.
      I want to be ready too. When you can see the writing on the wall preparing is the thing to do. It is good sense. With love

  10. Annabel your crocheted rug looks adorable and I can see the amount of loving hours of work that have gone into it. So wise of you to make more room in your pantry and stock up further on items that you use :).

    Scarlett is getting so big and looks like she thoroughly enjoys being at your home for special time :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $332.95 in savings last week :).

    Just in case you hadn't seen it Annabel Woolworths have now put on a nationwide purchase restrictions of 2 packets of toilet paper and paper towel. Victoria has now got far more stringent grocery restrictions too.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 18 homemade bread rolls saving $5.10 over buying them.
    - Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Froze 4 packets of 4 bread rolls for later use.
    - Sliced, cut, blanched and froze 5 kg of carrots and 2 kg of snow peas in meal sized portions for the freezer for an advanced supply of fresh frozen vegetables. Froze the cherry tomatoes on trays whole and will bag them up for meal sized portions too.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested around 5 kg of carrots, 2 kg of snow peas and 100 g of cherry tomatoes saving $73.85 over buying organic produce in the stores.
    - We did some weeding in the carrot garden bed.
    - Cut another 1.25 cubic metres of firewood for our wood pile saving us $187.50 over purchasing it.

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our 3 month living expenses emergency fund bringing us to 71.31% of the way there to our goal.
    - Made an extra part payment off our home mortgage.
    - DH earned $70 by doing a gardening job.

    Purchases -
    - Ordered a grocery RACQ Wish e-gift card for groceries saving 5% or $6.50.
    - Purchased a RACQ Wish e-gift card for fuel saving 5% or $10 in total off the cost of fuel when we buy it.
    - Put in a large click and collect order for many groceries we let run down during purchase restriction times and used a $10 off promotion code and with specials saved $50 in total on usual prices.
    - With the savings we topped up our pantry further with 12 x tins of sliced mangoes, 12 x tins of corn kernels, 12 x tins of diced tomatoes, 2 x packets of wheat biscuits, 8 blocks of dark chocolate. We pick up the order on Tuesday next week.

    Hope everyone has a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, The restrictions hit here pretty quickly. MY main shopping centre is Naracoorte. It isn't that far from the Vic border... anyway now I am expecting a lo of the shortages again as all week the Victoria numbers of new cases have been really high and they had all kinds of ridiculous breaches of quarantines.
      You had a lot of great savings. Also Your three month fund is doing very well. I like to see how much you added to your pantry. A dozen here and a dozen there... these are very good numbers. I am learning just to pick up the whole box or tray if there is a good special. It builds the pantry up significantly!
      You are really harvesting a lot now!! 5 ks of carrots alone is a lot! Your freezer and pantry must be looking good.
      Also the wood... this is such a bonus. Your woodpile would be amazing. It is great you have the space to get this far ahead with it. Im guessing you are using an old shed maybe. Thank you for your kind works on my blanket! I find it quite therapeutic to have an evening project. With much love

    2. Annabel you are so right that adding a dozen of things to the pantry does build it up substantially very quickly :).

      We have a lean-to shed down the back of the property that measure around 6 x 7 metres closed in on two sides so rather a large shed to be able to store our firewood in. Think it is going to take a bit of wood to fill it up though.

      Have a great week :).


  11. Annabel you had such lovely week. Scarlett is such a beautiful precious helper. I will be praying for Lucy. Kristi has done well on getting supplies! I see that changing as the counties around us numbers are spiking. San Diego is going up but not like those around us. Kristi was able to get hand sanitizer and soap for an older woman in our community.We used to have a aluminium pan under the hood of the truck close to the !motor so we could wrap something in aluminum that had already be cooked but was nice and hot when we got to our destination. Maybe that would be good these days.We have been blessed with delivery and mail order.

    I wanted to talk about beets and beet powder. You can add a little beet powder to coconut oil or what ever oil you have this works for lip gloss and blush. You can also use beets for dyeing fabric. I have also used Kool-Aid or favor-Aid drink mix to die fabric. I wouldn't ever drink these but they are cheep dye. Be safe ladies,
    !much love,
    Patti from San Diego

    1. Dear Patti, Thank you so much. Prayers are appreciated and there are now only 6 days to go!
      I love your truck warming system! That sounds quite like what someone here would do!
      Beets are truly a beautiful colour. Patti I might try this on some of my white wool!
      This is a great ti[ re the Kool aid. We dont have that but there are other strongly colour things that may work.
      IT is great Kristi is keeping you on top supply wise! I am so happy to hear that! With much love

  12. Little Scarlett is a Chloe mini me. She is gorgeous! I love that Paddy is still only small, even if he is a bit wicked rolling around in the mud.
    Our neighbours give us all the fish guts(and usually a few nice fillets) after they have had a good fishing run. These all get 'planted' under my fruit trees. I understand how good a dead rabbit would be.
    I have been quite vicious in the garden with the reciprocating saw on my fruit trees. I am gradually getting the overgrown sad mess into a better state. Last year the garden got so dry and the plants were so overgrown and stingy that the fruit was both small in size and in number. I am hoping a good prune, lots of manure, worm wee and weed tea, will give the trees a boost to get them back to being their best selves. A benefit of cutting everything back is the amount of light that is now getting into the garden. I have some tomatoes that will be planted out into the sunlit area over the weekend.
    Bluey has been looking through the cupboards, and has taken on board the idea that there could be a future lockdown. He has identified a couple of areas I hadnt thought of, and has purchased items to fill the gaps. He is also making sure that the barby gas bottles are full at all times.
    I baked up an Aldi gluten free box mudcake yesterday. It turned out beautifully. Mind you I had to have the chocolate, plenty of butter, eggs and sour cream in order to make it up. We had friends over and they loved it. I was surprised at how nicely it turned out. I am not a fan of box cake mixes but this one was surprisingly delicious. It was in the pantry because Bluey had seen it when it was on special and picked it up.
    When Katie was cleaning out her boxes of things stored in my shipping container she found a lot that went straight into a donate pile. I ended up with a lovely new skirt, two new shirts and a bathrobe. Now the bathrobe is way too small for me. I am going to embroider something pretty on it and this will become my DIL's Christmas present. Tilly's quiet book is still being worked on and is coming along beautifully. I keep thinking a page is finished when Bluey will come up with a great idea and I add it on. I really want to finish it this weekend and get it in the mail next week.
    I love reading what you and all the other Bluebird lovelies have been doing each week. Have a wonderful week.
    Love is sunny winter good.

    1. Dear Jane, You probably saw on Self Sufficient Me the time he buried a dead kangaroo under the banana tree. Someone said "that is the most Australian story ever!" Well we are a practical lot!
      I saw what you had ahead of you with the overgrown area and the hay bales. I cant wait toes the result. It is hard work!
      Bluey sounds switched on. I think in a way we are all over it... therefore it would be easy to switch off only to get a nasty surprise. So I am doing and thinking the same as you both.
      Next time I get to Aldi I will et some of the GF mud cakes. They would be handy!
      Good thinking on the bathrobe! Your Christmas cupboard is really getting stocked up!
      Thanks so much Jane! The week has basically got away from me again... With love

  13. Lovely, lovely post Annabel. All the best to Lucy! Mimi xxx

  14. I love hearing about what you've been up to and I sometimes get new ideas. This was my week--

    I made a long table covering for $0 to cover up an old resin Parsons patio table. I had enough pieces. I pieced scraps leftover from curtains I made about 10 years ago and used a coordinating fabric for sashing to make it long enough. Luck was with me because I had EXACTLY enough fabric for the sashing (and not a millimeter more!).

    I also made 3 masks from an old T-shirt and leftover bias tape. I'm now making a shaped pattern vs. the kind with pleats on the side. I wish I could get the hang of bias tape! (But the third one was better than the first). I really hate making masks, but I hate $5 apiece even more.

    I traded my front porch milk box (from bygone days of home milk delivery) for a milk box from Standard Dairy in Portland, Oregon...where my father worked for 23 years. Standard was a small milk company that went out of business decades ago. I live over 400 miles away, so the odds of ever finding one were between slim and none. My friend, who bought it at a yard sale, didn't really want to trade, but she realized the sentimental value to me and accepted my Seattle Darigold box in exchange. I sweetened the deal with an old milk crate, and in the end I think she thought she got a good deal. I know I did! I'm beyond thrilled! I have it on my patio and I am using it to store garden gloves, hand tools, etc.

    I was given a tiny pink peony (probably will take 2-3 years to bloom) and some very tall yellow irises.

    I picked my first strawberries today. They're late, but we haven't had sun to ripen them until the last couple of days.

    I have a low-cost, low benefit dental insurance policy. I break even if I have two dental hygiene appointments each year, which I do. However, I broke a tooth a couple of weeks ago and needed a crown. The insurance only paid $111, but I also got a $132 discount from the dentist for paying cash. If you are wondering how much a crown costs, it's about $1,450 USD plus 2 hours in the chair. Avoid the old maids in popcorn!

    1. Dear Maxine, Well done on making a perfect fit tablecloth and the masks!
      The old milk boxes sound so nice. I remember when milk was delivered to the door.
      Dental expenses are so much! Your pink peony will be beautiful. I just love them so much! That was a good week... if you dont count the dentist! With much love

  15. You are quite right Annabel, we need to be awake and watchful but not fearful. I enjoyed reading about your week. This year seems to be hurtling along extra fast. Our week here in Queensland has been busy, productive and really enjoyable. We had some cold mornings that turned into beautiful days for working in the garden.
    Scarlett is growing up so fast. I will keep Lucy in my prayers.

    1. Dear Sherri,
      I am glad you had such a nice week. This week has flown by too. Lovely days and cool nights are my favourite. Thank you very much for the prayers. With much love,

  16. Sounds like you've had a nice productive week! I love your cake sprinkles!

    Our governor just pulled back on his reopening plan as cases have spiked in our area. We are staying home from our fellowship today as we're dealing with colds and don't want to freak anyone out. Ha! Looking forward to a happy rest day!


    1. Dear Sarah, Thank you!
      We have had the same thing happen here as our neighbouring state has had a big outbreak. It is all a big step backwards.
      I hope you re all feeling better. With love,

  17. Your pictures of Scarlett are so beautiful! I think it is lovely that you bake special treats with your girls for them to take home. Another recipe that I rediscovered last year you might like is chocolate crackles. Not an everyday food but good for parties! It's just 200g melted chocolate (choc drops or chips will do), mixed with 1/4 cup desicated coconut and 3 cups rice bubbles. Then spoon into cases and chill to set. You can put sprinkles on top too. Yum!

    I hope Lucy can manage some rest in these last two weeks, and that the birth goes smoothly. A new baby is so exciting!

    I always find your cooking pictures so inspiring, it must be very rewarding to have so much to share and freeze.

    Your blanket is stunning! And so warm I'm sure. Well done, it's definitely an accomplishment to finish something so big.

    We have had quite a quiet week, which is good because there is only one week left of school before holidays and everyone is so tired. This had been a long term, which has included learning from home during lockdown as well as the return to school and I am so looking forward to the break!

    So apart from the normal cooking, cleaning and mountains of laundry I haven't done much. I did get some Christmas presents which I'm really happy with, and some boyish gifts for the present box as well.

    We also got an absolutely beautiful second-hand bed for my daughter, she loves it. It is great quality and painted a lovely duck egg blue. It has heart detailing in the wood. I'm so pleased with it.

    I hope you're having a nice weekend

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, We grew up with chocolate crackles and honey crackles. Every birthday party had them!
      Thank you re Scarlett and my cooking!
      I remember end of term very well. The girls were always really tried by end of term and then especially end of year. They would mostly sleep for a few days. They just needed it. Then there would be growth spurts in the holidays which I attributed to the rest.
      Good you could add to the Christmas cupboard!
      The duck eggs blue bed sounds just gorgeous! With hearts!? I would love this bed. It sounds divine.
      Hope this week has gone well as here it is Thursday already! With love

  18. Dear Annabel,
    It's was delightful to see Scarlet. You peaked my curiousity with the Honey Crackles so I googled it to see what they were and how to make them. I will be praying that Lucy is able to get some much needed rest.

    This week went by at warp speed. I decanted some of the vanilla that I made and was able to barter with my neighbor for weekly amounts of lettuce from her garden. I was late in planting so no lettuce lett So I now have a lettuce supplier. Basil, scallions and chard were harvested as well as arm fulls of lavender. Some of the lavender is drying to be used in soaps and sachets and some I used to make lavender wands. I saw the wands on Etsy going for $10 apiece. I saved $80 by making my own. I made mayonnaise using flax seed as an egg substitute. It came out really well. For meatless meals this week we had zucchini fritters for one meal and english muffin pizzas for another. Four dozen more 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies got baked only this time they were 4 ingredient with chocolate chips

    While browsing around Pinterest I found a pattern for knitted reuseable makeup remover clothes and a pattern for knitted dish towels. Hopefully, I will get started on them using my stash of cotton yarn in the not too distant future. And, miracles never cease, I scored three bottles of 70 percent rubbing alcohol while at the pharmacy. Wishing all the Bluebirds a good week ahead. Stay healthy and stay safe. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      This week also went by at time warp speed hence I am replying on Thursday! I have heard some are having trouble getting vanilla in the shops. Some making our own is a good idea.... plus great bartering!
      Great to have the rubbing alcohol in your supplies. All the lavender sounds just beautiful too! Hope this week has been a good one also! With love

  19. ABC Gardening Australia had a segment (a year ago? ) on worm farms in bath tubs, you may still be able to access the information from their website.A man grew pumpkins to feed a series of bath tubs on a slight slope....Hope you find it.

    1. Dear Margaret, I went and watched it! It was great! Thank you! I am seriously thinking about this as my soil could do with all the help it can get. I am a bit creeped out by the worms though! Thinking! Thank you! Love

  20. Annabel, your granddaughters are absolutely beautiful! Coming to see you at your farm must be the biggest treat for them! You are continuing to get so much done. The blanket (rug) is so pretty! Nice job! Your work rearranging your pantry and removing non-food items to another location has inspired me to look at freeing up more space in my own pantry. I have been replacing the items we use as well as adding on to my pantry stock. I’ve been following along with Patsi’s challenges too. I’m doing this diligently because I feel we are in for more difficulty this Fall and I want to be prepared as I can be for that. I’m also going to start buying and making Christmas gifts for the same reason.

    Recently, our Farmer’s Co-op had plants for sale buy one get one free. I bought two really big tomato plants, one cherry the other an heirloom tomato, to add to my garden. Plus, I bought lavender, cinnamon basil, smaller tomato plants, and two more sweet pepper plants. All have been added to the garden except the two large tomato plants in pots, which are in front of our porch.

    I bought really nice quality sheets on clearance at Tuesday Morning, as I had noticed my favorite set is showing signs of wear. I also bought an essential oil diffuser on clearance so now I have one in our bedroom. Plus I ordered more oils from Hopewell Oils.

    Our stores really don’t have shortages in most areas, except for paper goods are still nowhere near what they were prior to this virus. The beef prices are up. I’ve found that the best price for ground chuck for me is at Target, so I buy some whenever I’m there.

    From the garden I’ve harvested herbs, beans and cucumbers so far. My blackberry brambles are full of unripe fruit. I’m thinking in a few days I will have blackberries to harvest.

    Lastly, I received a pie crust making tip from a good friend. I recently had a piece of strawberry rhubarb pie she made and her crust was the best I’ve ever eaten! So flaky! Her secret? In your pie crust recipe, whatever amount of water it calls for instead use half water and half vodka. She said there’s something about how the two evaporate at different rates that creates this flaky crust. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to. Just thought I’d pass that along.

    I hope you have a blessed and productive week! Thank you so much for your beautiful, inspiring posts! CarlaM

    1. Dear Carla,
      Thank you for such a kind comment. The week is almost over already! And I have had a good week! I hope you have too.
      You added to your garden well and took a good opportunity!
      I also think your sheets and diffuser are great investments.
      Thanks for the pie crust tip! I might just try that! I really think Hopewell oils are excellent quality and value. I have been so happy with their oils. With much love

  21. Thanks for sharing your adventures with both your grand-daughters. What cuties! I've been enjoying reading Nancy Drew mysteries to my younger four at bedtime. I look forward to it as much as them!
    We continue to work every Monday at a local food pantry (for the pandemic). We are blessed with new friendships and goodies to take home that have lost their labels or dates are close to expiring. God is so good!

    1. Dear Lesley,
      Thank you for the suggestion of Nancy Drew. I read those too! Also Enid Blyton. I would put them all away for future reading if I come by them. The work at the food pantry is so good and yes a good way to meet others, network and also gain some food as well as help the community. So good! With love


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