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 4 June 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 5th June, 2020.

Winter has started here.  We had rain and then a couple of beautiful sunny days.  This all has made everything so green and gorgeous!  I love it!
I read somewhere "2020 the movie... Produced by Steven Spielberg. Directed by Quentin Tarantino."
Well, even they would have trouble coming up with the script for this year so far.   The farm is a beautiful place I am glad to be. I appreciate it so much.  It is so beautiful.  I am amazed the journey we have been on to get here.

Scout is pretty sure it is part of her job to keep an eye on everyone.

I continued to mulch the garden beds, fill the raised bed,  dig greens for the chickens and ducks and get the tennis court ready for the big conversion to an animal yard.  We have four weeks until the new chickens arrive.

We headed off to collect more wood for our new raised garden beds and to get the old windows we found. These are becoming covers on some of the beds (that can be removed) to make a greenhouse like effect.  I picked more stinging nettles and used these in my compost.  We were quite loaded up so another day we will head back as there is an old bath tub in the shed that I thought would make an awesome duck pond.  
Every time we take this trip I explore a bit more.  As we do this the setting is a lake and Emus and cows together grazing between us and the water.    
So I walked further and there are old stock yards.  In the middle of these I found something that really made me smile.   Another bath tub.  But this one is pink!

It comes with free dirty water!! haha!   So now I have a pink trough from my goats.  Seriously, what could be better?

Oh, I know what!!   We were driving home on a dirt road and I was looking out the window at the scenery.  Suddenly Andy braked and I thought of the windows in the trailer and assumed it would be a Kangaroo on the road. I looked ahead and there on a crest, right in the middle of the road, was a newborn lamb.   We had to stop or we would have hit it.   It was just standing there.  I got out and picked it up.  It was in good condition, still damp from birth and had either a deformed or broken tail... it still wags but it is at a right angle from about halfway down!  It was just so out of place and unusual.  We went up and down the road sides to find the mother.   Then we went up and down the fence lines to look in paddocks on each side.  Nothing.  So that was it.  It was a mystery. We couldn't leave him there.   So now I have another lamb, the first of the season.

His name is Buddy.  He is the loudest and hungriest lamb I ever had.  I made him a little jumper. 
So when we arrived home we were truly loaded up with timber, windows and livestock haha! 

In our cottage renovation we took down an old water tank on a tower.  Andy cut a hole in it and later I filled it with hay to make Buddy an apartment.

I made peanut butter cookies,  tuna mornay and a big batch of Vicky's Enchilada sauce.   This is delicious.

My pot had 5 chicken breasts cut up... the sauce... (minus the stock and flour, I just use chicken stock cubes and more tomato ...)  For this amount I quadrupled the recipe.  I let it simmer for ages.  Anyway this sauce in a jar from the store is expensive and I like to make a big lot so it is a huge saving and better than store bought.

I did lots more work on the pantry.  I found a better home for my soap making supplies and so this made more pantry space and never should have been in there in the first place.   It is amazing the space you can find with cleaning and organising though. 

We are getting more Kangaroos and Deer on the property.  Andy took this photo...

So that was my week.   It was lovely and felt normal even though the week was another 2020 shocker for many. 

My mind spends a lot of time on thinking about how we can produce more, make more and be ready for whatever happens next.  With this in mind I am considering getting a greenhouse. I have a lot of research to do on that!

How did you make your home a safe haven, build up your pantry or get ahead in anyway? 
I hope you have a lovely and peaceful weekend! xxx

I am publishing early as tomorrow is an early morning off to see the girls and bring back Harper for the weekend.xx


  1. What a sweet little lamb!!! Your farm is so beautiful.

    I finished crocheting a blanket this past week and began knitting a hat, all of it made out of scrap yarn. Our garden isn't producing anything much other than green onions and butter lettuce at the moment, but it's planted, so we'll see what nature lets us have! I've got plans to turn some old plastic coffee cans into spray-painted flower pots, so we'll see if I get to that this weekend.

    Enjoy your weekend and that sweet new lamb! <3

    1. Dear Stephanie,
      I love to use up scrap yarn. I am just finishing my blanket and have odds and ends over. I have the ends to sew in too, my least favourite bit. But how nice to finish a blanket! A hat is ideal for the odds and ends.
      I love the cans for pots! I think they look amazing. I now watch out for odd things like a kettle with no lid, an old saucepan... they are potential planters.
      Have a very good new week! With love

  2. Here in the northern US, we are just getting into summer, so for me this means gardening every day. Where I live in northern Minnesota, it has been extremely dry this spring, unusual for this area where spring is normally quite wet. Lots of watering necessary to keep the garden going. Rain is in the forecast for this weekend, so hoping that some comes our way this time. Even though the unrest & riots have been in Minnesota, it is about a 5 hour drive south of here, so no direct impact other than the deep sadness watching the news. Love the little lamb, so cute...strange that he was found so far from any other sheep. He is just very fortunate that people with such big hearts were the ones who came down the road. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead with continued lovely weather & good health. - Diane from northern Minnesota

    1. Dear Diane, Gardening everyday is lovely. It is a good time of year. I hope you get a helpful amount of rain. When you said Minnesota I was straight aware aware of how many times I have heard that mentioned in the news. I am glad you are such a distance away from things. 5 hours is good. Yes there is a deep sadness. We have no idea how that lamb came to be in such strange circumstances or especially his tail! But he is doing well! I hope you have a good new week and things calm down too in your state. We need to focus on home and our immediate surrounds and keep things going as well as we can. With much love,

  3. Good Day! I love your new lamb, he's so lucky to have you. Vicky's enchilada sauce sounds very good. I may have to try it as the store bought bothers my allergies. A week-end with Harper sounds like lots of fun in store for you both, I hope you have good weather. How are your daughter's doing? Our weather has been hot again for the last few days and we are expecting rain this week-end. I am finally getting to work on my sewing room and going through things I might add to the garage sale pile. God Bless!

    1. Dear Laurie, A lot of store bought jars and mixes upset me too. This is simple and delicious. And a bargain by comparison too.
      Harper and I did have a beautiful time. I am having a clean up and catch up day today! The girls are doing well... Lucy is due with her baby soon. She is a bit over it and ready!
      I hope your garage sale will be a big success and you have a good new week! With love,

  4. Harper will love feeding Buddy, some of my fondest childhood memories are of feeding orphan lambs. I love his 'des res' too, great use of a resource.
    I have had a good week, I feel like I have been very busy, but actually I probably haven't achieved that much. So here goes,
    I have:-
    Made some little curtains for under my sink to hide the ugly bin. All hand sewn as the weather was far too nice to sit indoors at a sewing machine.
    Froze bananas that were over ripe for use in smoothies and 'ice cream' and the skins went round my rose bushes for a bit of nutrition.
    Picked homegrown strawberries, which sounds much grander than it actually is! I picked maybe a dozen of tiny strawberries, not much bigger than peas and bizarrely they tasted of bubblegum! I hope things improve.
    I finished breaking up the pallets and my hands are very thankful! Now I need to de-nail and sort them.
    Cooked a gammon joint, froze the stock, some of the meat and some sandwiches for work made from some muffins (not sweet, cakey muffins, but proper Northern oven bottom muffins. They have hundreds of different names as each town seems to call them something different, here they're muffins)that I was given.
    I was given some dog blankets, a gilet and a pair of practically unused Timberland walking boots! Just as I was wondering how on earth I could possibly repay this kindness, she mentioned that her mum's bread maker had broken. Only the night before I had been pondering what I should do with mine, since I no longer use it, so now it's gone to a new home.
    I finished knitting a cowl and then was given 2 more, a bit strangely, both in the same yarn. So I have kept one as it is, have frogged the other and am using the yarn to make matching mittens and hat. Yes i know it's summer here, but I don't like the cold.
    I also had a discussion with one of my neighbours, who really couldn't understand that I don't want to go on foreign holidays or see the world. In fact she said maybe I'd get better as I got older! Now, I'm 56, I think I know my mind and what's wrong with being relatively content with what I've got? Yes I'd love a little small holding in a nice peaceful location, but it's never going to happen, I have to make the most of what I do have and be grateful for it. Incidentally, this lady is 70! However, she's the one finding lockdown tough.
    So, that was my week. I hope everyone has had the best week possible. Stay safe.

    1. Dear Su, I remember under the sink skirts and I think Nan must have had a skirt hiding shelves or something as I feel I can remember them. I always thought they were so pretty.
      Su with all that has happened the chances of me getting on a plane are pretty much zero. I would rather save for my grandchildren to have house deposits and such things anyway. You are probably perfectly fine busy with everything in lockdown. I am so content at home. I love the animals and dread being away. To be so happy at home is a gift!
      The Timberland boots are a fabulous gift! What a good and productive week! With love

  5. A friend had given me about 50 pounds of potatoes recently- loose with some only slightly larger than a golf ball! I have used many of them fresh in mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, etc, but I wanted to store some on my pantry shelf more efficiently! So I found an easier method to prepare them for dehydrating (because I LOVE easy!!) and Saturday I dehydrated 10 pounds into hash brown shredded potatoes and the next day I dehydrated another 10 pounds as potato dices or cubes! and 20 pounds of potatoes reduced to just 2 half gallon mason jars that I vacuum sealed (with my old Foodsaver, of course!) I’ll start another batch in the morning!
    My little $6 blackberry plant that I bought 2-1/2 years ago at Sam’s Club in a little quart size milk carton has grown from 2 tiny sticks with 3 leaves to this giant bush which has overgrown it’s 18 foot bed! It’s covered in flowers and I anticipate a wonderful harvest of huge berries again this year! Seeing your blackberries as you harvest them makes me impatient for ours!
    Our peas are flowering, we are eating greens- spinach, kale, lettuces, Swiss chard from our garden!

    Our worms are thriving in their condo outside as we feed them cantaloupe rinds, banana peels and apple peels! We are excited to have them as part of our garden team!
    The chooks are doing well and we will be picking up 4 more started pullets in about 9 days! That will increase our egg production substantially!
    I’ve now made over 589 masks just using my fabric scraps with no end in sight for my fabric!! 😱 Our little business just keeps a steady stream of extra income for us and we’re surprised at how quickly even the little $2 items can add up as well as the larger quilting orders. In this economy, we are grateful for ways to convert our labor and goods into savings!
    By careful budgeting, we have been able to pay an additional 5 principal payments on our mortgage in May which brought the total of mortgage payments during the first 5 months of 2020 (including the 5 normal payments) to 29!! We are on target to pay off our mortgage completely within 2.3 years (if we pay about 50% extra from the rate we’ve been paying it- 3 extra payments instead of 5) but at this pace, it will be just over 1 year!
    I love seeing photos of your farm/homestead! Looks like it was just the ticket for you and your family to truly thrive!! Well done and continued success!!

    1. Dear Pat, Well done on all those potatoes! At least with potatoes there are just so many cooking methods and uses. The hash browns sound great. Your Blackberry bush sounds amazing! I love berries. We mainly get Mulberries to pick and berries generally less common in gardens.
      I am interested in the worms. Dad said I should turn the old bath into a worm farm. So I am looking into it since I will have two old baths. The worms wont be getting the pink one though!
      It is so good you are so far ahead on the mortgage. That is wonderful. Best thing you could do.
      More chickens! Me too! There is only one thing better than chickens and that is more chickens!
      Well done on the masks. I love how hard you have worked on these especially since I know you are Quilting too and so many other things.
      Have a very good new week! With love,

  6. Dear Annabel, What an adorable, precious lamb. He looks so sweet in his blue sweater Here in the U.S. We are having our hot summer weather. The garden is getting going, albeit late this year. i didn't get the tomato and other seeds planted indoors as early as usual because of all else going on.
    I'm sure you'll have a wonderful weekend with your granddaughter. Spending time at my grandparents helping with the canning, garden, sewing etc. was the absolute best when I was a child. Seeing my grandmother's crocheted doilies, aprons and other items around my home always makes me happy.
    God bless,

    1. Dear Laura,
      Like you I kind of realise how much influence a Grandparent can have as I did so much with my Nan. And I remember it all and it stuck with me. So it is really valuable. Have a wonderful new week! With love

  7. Such beautiful scenery. Love seeing all the animals. What a lucky lamb!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful new week! With love

  8. If 2020 was a movie I believe that the reviews would say that the plot was too far fetched

    1. You just made me laugh out loud! Thank you for bringing a bit of levity into life. I just keep shaking my head with every new development, personal, national and world wide!

    2. Judi yes! Too ridiculous to publish! And it is more ridiculous by the day! xxx

  9. Such a darling little lamb. You are the mother of all things Annabel. What a wonderful sentiment too, as we all continue to face such challenging times. We all need peace for sure. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you! That is nice compliment. I agree with you love is what is needed and nest making. We aren't half way through the year yet, who cold believe it so far! Have a great new week! With love

  10. Last Weekend our daughter married the love of her life. With restrictions we could have up to ten people attending. The Wedding was held at her in laws home. We all got together and worked our butts off to make this day as special as we could for our babes. The dress was made by me and I also put the flowers together. It was a beautiful Wedding and Katie and Jared had a wonderful day.
    Bluey and I were a tad exhausted after the Wedding and have taken it pretty easy this week. Bluey did pick up some half 44's from the tip and some 15L buckets from the hardware. I have filled these with potting soil and have planted them out. I planted these containers with seedlings I started as seeds a couple of weeks ago.
    We have also cleaned out the potted bromeliads from the front of the house. I could have sold these online but I just wanted them gone. I put them all out the verge with a 'Free' sign. They were gone an hour and half later.
    One of the large ceramic pots is going to have a lemon tree planted in it. Katie and Jared move into the home they are having built in about two weeks time. The lemon tree will be a housewarming gift for them.
    The second large pot has had African Desert Rose plants potted up in it. One of these was given to us by our 93 year old neighbour, not long before she passed away. It is a beautiful deep pink. It is a colour that always reminds me of this beautiful lady.
    I made some passionfruit butter/curd this week. I have so many passionfruit ripening. The two little girls who live next door have decided that they love Bluey's passionfruit and have been taking one to school each day in their lunch boxes. I still have lots and lots left on the vine.
    I am loving little Buddy in his coat. He is one very lucky little lamb to have ended up as part of your animal menagerie. I hope you have lots of fun with Harper over the weekend. I wonder what she will think of her Wendy house? I bet she loves it.
    Have a wonderful weekend. Life is snuggly blanket good.

    1. Dear Jane, What a week you had! And what a week leading up to it!
      I like Blueys idea on the big buckets and the 44s. I think these all will make great growing containers. Much cheaper than pots at the store.
      Everything I look at now is "what can I plant in it?" or "what can I make it into!?"
      A lemon tree is a perfect housewarming gift.
      Those little girls taking a passionfruit in their lunch box... this is the loveliest thing.
      Harper loved the cubby and Buddy. She gave Buddy every bottle while she was here. I hope you have rested a bit as now I realise whey you were going so fast on everything the week before the wedding! You did so well on that dress and all the decorations. With much love

  11. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds,
    Well winter has truly arrived here this week, with rain, low temps of 9 degrees, and snow due on the mountains overnight. Annabel what a cute wee guy Buddy is. Mum perhaps got out of the fencing, gave birth and then abandoned him. Just as well you and Andy came along when you did. As a former horse rider I have always wanted a donkey for a change. I just love them.
    We had our earthquake repairs re-checked yesterday as I had concerns about the foundations. Overall they are good but there is some work to be done. Also most of the house inside is being repainted and wallpapered as first time round they did not do a good job. To have this included was unexpected but appreciated. We will have to move out again for a couple of weeks but not too bad really. We are going to look at the cost of having our walls insulated while they are doing the work.
    It's been a busy week at work, which is good and always makes the time go quickly.
    I am hoping to be cleared to drive again soon, after my head knock at Christmas. This means I will go back to helping my partner with the food shop and cutting the climbing costs back.

    Have a good weekend all.


    1. Dear Mandy, We dont get the snow but it isn't exactly balmy here 12 now, 1 tonight.
      I am glad the earthquake repairs are being done properly and the foundations are fairly good. Now I hope no more earthquakes!
      A busy week really does fly by. I hope you can drive again. A head injury is a terrible thing.
      Seriously climbing costs are hitting everyone. Some things amazed me. $9 cauliflowers, $8 broccoli, and meat!!! I think though winter cooking of soups and things can help a lot. Like good nourishment that is warming but on the cheaper side to make.
      Have a very good new week! With love

  12. I love reading about your life in your part of the world. I live in Michigan, so we are just starting summer. I'm always astonished by how much work you get done every week! By the way, I have the same recipe cards!

    1. Dear Ellen, Thank you so much! I love these pretty recipe cards. I like to have things written and I stick them on the inside of my cupboards.
      Enjoy your summer. Cold here today but we had some sunshine so it was lovely. As soon as we hit mid afternoon it begins to cool down fast! With love

  13. God sure was looking out for sweet Buddy to have put him there where you could find him but that sure is a mystery.

    1. Dear Lana, His little bend tail is a mystery to me too. It is so strange. I had avoided a lamb as Lucys baby is due soon... and I will be away a bit but we literally had to stop for him. So that was that. He is doing well. And Harper loved feeding all the bottles. Have a good new week! With love

    2. My Mum had a cat whose tail was like that (he was called Crink) she always said the uterus had closed on it when he was born. I don't know if that was the actual reason but she was a nurse.

  14. I traded some of my extras for some of dil's extra produce. They received two boxes of produce instead of the one and were overflowing. I was well pleased as this truly meant I could put off grocery shopping one more week which is something when you typically shop first of the month.
    I'm trying to get accustomed to a new schedule which involves my youngest grandson. I've been picking him up at nursery each evening and dropping him off at his home where his dad watches him but this is all due to change. Dad got a new job and will be moving out as well, so I'll need to stay with baby boy until his mommy comes in each evening. I am still homeschooling, one day a week this month and then I'll stop as I am really expecting them to pull kids back into school following June.
    My little garden is puttering along. The tomatoes have loads of blooms and two have one and six tomatoes each. The three green beans are blooming, the potatoes have done nothing yet, there is a zucchini. I won't win any gardening awards this go round but I am trying. I hope that come autumn I can put in more work on this. I do find at my age it's harder to switch schedules about and fit everything in as well.

    1. Dear Terri, An extra weeks groceries is worth a lot! I can imagine how you would put each thing to good use. That was a Blessing.
      You do so much each day to help the family and Grandchildren. This is really wonderful.
      Switching routines can be difficult especially when you are already busy. And there are so many hours in a day!
      Have a good new week. A lot of ladies are saying that like last year they have had two be late with planting. I have been reading up on the Grand Solar Minimum... as our summer was cut a full month short. It was odd. And the garden was terrible.
      Have a good new week! With love

  15. Annabel, only you could find a random pink bath tub!! How lovely that you were able to save the lamb, it is lucky to have found a new home with you!

    We had my daughter's 6th birthday last week, she had a couple of friends over for a nice afternoon tea and a I made her a Frozen cake. It was a really simple but special celebration.

    I finished a tapestry. It is from a free pattern I picked up I think in 2006! There are two, the first I finished ages ago. The second has been almost finished for years, but the border was boring so I didn't bother. They are going to be cushions, and when visiting my lovely neighbour she showed me some tapestry cushions that she had made. That was the inspiration I needed to finish it. The lady she gets to make them into cushions does the most beautiful job, so I will get her to do them. My girls will love them. She is also fixing one that my mum made which I am so happy about.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend with Harper! It is so nice that you share such special time together.

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, The tapestry cushions will be beautiful! Your daughter is another Frozen fan... Harper is just crazy on Frozen. She talks in terms of Frozen 1 and Frozen 2 lol. I will put a picture up on Friday but at the op shop I found a size 4 (her size) Frozen winter dress in perfect condition. It was one of the best $3 I ever spent she went mad over it.
      Your cake would have been beautiful I know. I hope you have a great new week! With love

  16. Dear Annabel,

    I always enjoy seeing your pictures. Scout seems to have quite a personality. So glad you found Buddy and he was in good condition.

    This week has been a mix of all things. Prices have gone sky high here, especially for something as simple as a package of English muffins, 99 cents for 6 to $3.00 for 6. I looked up recipes online and discovered one that is no knead, doesn't require using a mixer, is baked on the stove top, has a long rise time, and only uses 1/4 tsp of yeast and 2 1/2 cups of flour as part of the recipe. With yeast and flour in short supply I was in. Oh, and it makes 8 . It made fantastic English muffins according to my husband who has them every morning with breakfast. And as a bonus the dough can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. I also steamed and froze beets, pitted and froze 2 pounds of cherries, baked 2 dozen gluten free chocolate chip cookies, made the crazy pizza recipe using no'mato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese, made gluten free crackers. Spent time working in the garden everyday, cleaned the deck furniture. This weekend I hope to defrost the strawberries from last year and put up some jam while also making more room in the freezers.

    I know you'll have fun with Harper this weekend. Stay healthy, stay safe. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Making our won especially with Gf is such a massive saving. But when the prices are TRIPLE that is a big increase. It is the same here. Fresh veggies are a fortune... $9 for a cauliflower... for instance.
      So what is your verdict on the crazy pizza as I havent done it yet but I would love to.
      It is good you can be out enjoying good weather. Thanks so much... Harper and I had a lovely time and now I am catching up with things in the house and garden. It was worth it though.
      With much love,

    2. Cookie I hope that your seeds have arrived
      I know that all Aust mail going overseas is going by sea so ??
      Xxxx Lorraine

    3. Lorraine, thank you so much!!! They did arrive. Blessings, Cookie

    4. Lorraine, Thank you so much. Everything arrived. It is all beautiful. Blessings, Cookie

  17. Dear Annabel, congratulations on your new baby lamb ! He's just gorgeous !!! And I adore the sweater you have made for him !! I am astounded people say they have nothing to eat when there is money in their fridges !! I have become creative. My meals were never fancy anyway ! I continue to feel incredibly stressed with no job and the statistics of a recession here in Australia. I am quite jealous you are in the country ! I feel my heart is in the country as you know !! Today's job is cleaning my fridge out. I know I will find things I can make meals with without spending money. A beautiful sunny day here ! Enjoy the weekend with the children. Love Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia,
      Thank you! Buddy is doing really well!
      I know how you want to get to the country. Apply far and wide and see what might happen. You would do well with a little veggie patch and some fruit trees!
      I will pray as I agree with what you are saying. With much love

  18. Well done Annabel and how lovely you found another lamb in the middle of the road and what would be the odds lol and know that buddy will have a good home with you :) . Love the way you are recycling all you have available to you for some purpose.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $953.81 in savings this week.

    As a lot of the stores are emptying of new clothing, shoes, underwear and machinery due to the affects of the pandemic I stocked up on quite a few things to last a while. We had one chainsaw that was on it's way out so decided to replace it and have a spare too.

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

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 4 x 16 pce dinner sets on eBay on special for $20.20 each saving $115.20 over buying them locally. We have been running the set that we bought when we got married and they have finally given up :) .
    - Bought 4 sets of leather high ankle boots for chainsawing in at super low prices on eBay saving $339.80 over buying them elsewhere. These will protect us from any possible snake bites too :).
    - Purchased 2 new chainsaws and saved $22.41 on prices elsewhere.
    - Bought more underwear on sale at Best and Less saving $45 on usual prices.
    - Bought more pairs of cushioned work socks on eBay saving $115.20 over buying them in stores locally.

    Firewood -
    - Cut another 2.5 cubic metres of firewood that we have stacked to dry for next year near our lean-to shed saving $375 over purchasing it in locally.

    An easier week planned this week to get a lot of needed jobs done around the home and taking a break from firewood cutting.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I was avoiding a lamb as I know I will be away when Lucy has the baby. But this lamb was placed right in front of me! I wondered what on earth are the odds? myself! I am interested that you are seeing low clothing supplies. We have seen now low or non existent supplies mainly of stuff like lines, towels, electrical and hardware.... plus anything to do with seeds, seedlings etc. I have been wondering if clothes would be next. We did buy ahead to make sure the girls had warm winter clothing. Now I will watch and try to be ahead with some summer stuff.
      You had a great Vicky Challenge.
      Boots are a good investment. Here we basically live in boots. All outdoor work is done in boots, snakes are a big part of this too.
      I think the spare chainsaws are a good investment. We depend on chainsaws also.. and so much money and even potential income comes from them, as you would understand. You get very fit from loading wood, carting wood... but I mostly enjoy it, especially if it is a nice day.
      I like the idea of cushioned work socks! I am going to look into this.
      Very good week Lorna. I hope this one will be a good one too. Sunny and lovely here today... helping the grass grow! With much love

  19. This past week was so very hot. I was very busy at work (CSR at a HVAC service company) with the phone constantly ringing with no a/c calls. I made sure I took a lunch break everyday. I parked my car in the shade and enjoyed the breeze and quiet. After I came home each evening, I went out and puttered in my garden, weeding or watering. We had some storms the last 2 nights, so tonight I picked up sticks, pulled some Brome grass from the flower beds and enjoyed the birds.
    We've been eating from the pantry and freezers. I found a boxed meal and made that one night. It was quick to cook but I won't be buying anymore. I've been making as much as possible from scratch. And I've found it's been so freeing to follow the menus I make every week or 2. I take the meat from the freezer each morning. I planned easy, lighter meals since it's been so hot. Except for this evening. Farmer "cooked" and I was happy to let him. (AKA Getting pizza takeout.)

    1. Dear Kay, This is so funny as when Chloe's husband "cooks" it means the same thing. lol but she is ok like you as it is a night off!
      While you have heat we have cold. It sounds like you were very busy. In the heat we eat lighter meals too, now even the animals are hungrier in the cold. Everyone seems starving!
      Have a very good new week! With love

  20. This week our restaurants opened up with half capacity. I had a gift card so on Tuesday daughter, granddaughter and I went for a late lunch/early supper. It was so nice to see them and talk. Because of the gift card we only ended up paying $25 CDN for our meal.
    The cushions that were needed to be made for daughters friend are finished and in the camper. She Loves them. Glad I could help out. By the way I only paid $2.00 per meter of heavy duty outdoor fabric so $12 in all for four cushions. I have been so busy at work that I only had time to vacuum but not wash the floors. It took me two washes and a rinse to get them clean. You would think with only myself and a small dog here they wouldn’t be too bad. I guess it must have been three weeks instead of the two I thought. No more of that every week for sure. Jean

    1. Dear Jean, It was very nice you could get back to some normality and enjoy that time with your Daughter and Granddaughter.
      Well done on the cushions! Very economical too!
      Floors get terrible. I know! It is so nice to have them washed though. Like clean linen!
      Have a good new week! With love

  21. Hello Annabelle and Bluebirds!
    Annabelle, I am so glad you were able to rescue little Buddy and that he has a nice warm jumper and someone to feed him. The beautiful pictures of your fields and animals bring some peace to my heart. While our world seems to be going crazy we are currently preserving all our produce which is coming off at the same time. Canning, dehydrating and freezing jobs are ongoing!
    We had several stalks of maize which volunteered from loose chicken feed (I assume). I will be saving that to plant next year for chicken feed.
    I have been watching "The 1940's House", a BBC production on youtube about how the British survived during the war and it has been entertaining and informative. They became experts on thrift and "making do".
    From another source I learned that tins of vegetable shortening which are well past the use-by date should not be thrown out. You can make large candles from them by heating an ice pick and inserting candle wicks.
    I replaced elastic in my favorite pair of summer pants, made bread crumbs/coating from excess bread, planted onion roots to make new green onions, made cleaning solution from vinegar and orange rinds plus I bottled up my homemade apple cider vinegar.
    I love how everyone shares tips and bits of their daily lives here. Have a good week, my friends!

    1. Dear Pam, I am glad you have so much produce to preserve but yes it always likes to come in at the same time!!
      Thank you for telling me about The 1940s house. I will check it out. One I watched was Wartime Farm. This was good and very educational and many tips there. I would now much rather watch things like this on Your Tube than the mostly horrors on TV.
      Life surrounded by nature is good. Here I know the world is the same it is just people that are the problem. And not all people. But a minority is always very loud. But we are sure seeing some things unfolding around us...
      You had a busy and very productive week Pam! Well done. I love hearing everyones tips and ideas too I have learned just a ton this way! With love

  22. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds

    Hope everyone is safe and well.

    I have to say Annabel that I always enjoy looking at the photos that you post. The beautiful animal photos to the home cooking gives an insight into how idyllic the farm life truly is. It is also wonderful to watch the animals grow over time and exciting to see you adding animals along the way.

    Your finds are truly amazing. The pink bathtub (with dirty water) was a wonderful find to add to your farm. You fit so much into one day and this is so inspiring. Today I have been out tidying up the gardens out the front of the house. Yes we rent but we still take pride in the place we are in. During the pandemic after a fairly lengthy conversation with our landlord (by passing the agent) we were able to make great progress in our backyard as there were some plumbing issues. In return the landlord paid for our dump trips and basically let us determine what we could pull out and will have the gardens mulched when things settle down again. This has helped him by saving him money and helped us to avoid any lurking dangers in the summer as well as keeping out sanity intact.

    Today I finally found the courage to sit and do an online course that I have wanted to do for a while now, but due to the confronting issue I had put it off with thing being so raw. After losing my brother to suicide 2 years ago I sat and did a suicide awareness certificate to get a perspective on how people may be thinking. Confronting but also an eye opener. It has taught me that yes we are all busy and sometimes we really do not take the time to hear what someone says or see their behaviours and how they could have changed. We need to slow down and be aware of changes in everyone.

    Only 3 weeks till the school holidays here again.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, Well done on talking with your landlord and coming up with a great arrangement. Good tenants are hard to find and I am sure your land lord is just thrilled with you. This is very good.
      I think suicide must be one of the hardest issues of all. So go gently. You are right though we need to be as aware as we can be. I am sorry that the pain is so bad for you but well done on learning and be pro active.
      On a good day the farm is idyllic but then we had fires and some days are tough and some seasons are tough. BUT I wouldnt be anywhere else now.
      I do seem to be collecting animals!! I am aware of 12 more coming (10 chooks and 2 goats) and who know who else would turn up. I havent had any calves so far this year. I love calves!
      I hope its been a great week! Here I am replying and the week is almost over! With love,

  23. Snap! We are putting in a greenhouse too in order to extend our growing period into the hotter weather (though I am not expecting to try and grow food through our high summer, but you never know!).

  24. I made the enchillada sauce with passata and two cups of home made chicken soup. I put some chopped avocado on top and sprinkled it with finely chopped celery leaves over spiral pasta. I poured it over diced cooked chicken. What a great recipe. Everyone loved it. Thank you


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