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 9 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 10th July, 2020.

It was a big week!  Lucy and Kato welcomed a baby boy.  His name is Sidney and his second name is Thomas after Dad (Granddad and Great Granddad) and the joy in Dad's voice as I got to tell him!  ♡♡♡

He is also names after Kato's dear Grandpa.  So this is very special. 

I headed down to stay and look after the girls on Tuesday night.   Sidney was born Wednesday morning.   Well we think he is beautiful and the girls are so excited.  They are truly going to lose their minds when they see him.  There is no visiting for children now due to the corona virus.    So I think this will be tomorrow.  

So I was very lucky to be able to go in.   I am in love obviously!   

I took photos of the girls and said what do you think about having a baby brother?  I took a series but  I thought this one was a classic...

I showed the girls photos of Sidney.  Scarlett said "is that our baby?"   I said "yes that is your baby!" 

We did some normal things....  before Tuesday anyway.

I got 12 more chickens.  These ones are 18 months old x egg farm chickens.  I have bought these before.  They come a bit worn out looking.  However within weeks they look brand new.  It feels nice to rehabilitate chickens and give them a happy life.   And they lay for a long time.   It is also a very economical way to add to your flock.
I had to drive to a meeting point in a little town to pick them up.  I went with boxes and newspaper.    

Most of them have laid every day since.  I need to make some additional nesting boxes, hopefully next week.

A patch of garden was dug up as we are putting down a cement slab for a generator.  Andy salvaged a big lot of Agapanthus plants.  

The cottage is painted now.  I planted these around the outside in strategic spots to look lovely against the white paint.  Blue and green will look beautiful.  I think I planted about thirty out.   A big boost to the look of the outside.

I made scones. 

I was able to work on my pantry.  I now have behind the door shelves.  There are Rubbermaid brand over the back of a door shelving systems.  This blank space is now shelving!  I haven't had any time to actually fill them yet though.

I made up some essential oil gifts.

From the trip I came home with three big bags of chook food.  Household scraps,  thistles and bread.   They are getting stuck into that right now.  

The girls and I picked lemons.  There are old fruit trees on their farm.  I have lots of lemons to work on next week.

So what a week!  We are very blessed.   I was able to shop at a supermarket on the way home.  People are everywhere clearly buying up big time.  Our neighbour state (Victoria) has a huge virus outbreak. This is close by.  People are worried.  The little bit of the news I have seen is not good.    We need to think clearly and be really prudent.  This is hard when really tired!  
I fell into bed last night and slept in this morning.   Now I have a lot of catching up to do! 

How are things where you live?  Did you manage to build up your home, pantry, emergency fund or garden this week?  Take every opportunity!  

Pray for opportunities.  Pray for eyes to see opportunities and pray for the energy to make the most of them!  xxx


  1. Congratulations on the new grandson- he IS BEAUTIFUL. And thank you for your blog posts : I am always inspired to adopt one of your ideas into my life.
    PS there is no panic buying here in Sydney but am glad the border between Victoria and New South Wales is closed.

    1. Thank you! What a week it has been. I hope things are still good where you are located. It has been a whole week of one thing after another. Our stores are pretty nuts but we are so close to Victoria here. xxx

  2. Congratulations on the safe arrival of Sidney. It must be difficult for the little girls to comprehend that the new baby is theirs. My second child was born 7 week early and her brother did not see her for a week. I hope the girls thoroughly enjoy their new sibling.

    I made scones this afternoon for the first time in a while. I normally make scones with soda water and cream. Mum didn't realise I could make scones in the usual way! Of course I can.

    God bless.

    1. Dear Suzan, Thank you! When photos came of the baby Scarlett said "is that our baby?" and I said yes this is your baby! Well when he got home it was so exciting. They love him!
      Scones are always good! Well done. I love them! I hope the week has gone well. Sorry to be so slow to reply ... the week went pretty fast! Love

  3. He's precious Annabel, just beautiful. And the name - Sidney was my Grandfather's name, and Thomas is our Thomas of course, but was Wayne's Grandfather's name.

    This week has been surreal to me. I am not afraid to say that I am scared this time around. The complacency of people, gathering, crowding, coughing, sneezing wherever they like astounds me. Then they complain because we are in lockdown for six weeks - and if they keep breaking the restrictions it will be extended. We are home, and staying home. We don't need anything, and if there is something we run out of we'll either do without or find a substitute.

    My prayers were answered on Monday when Wayne was told he can refuse to work in the hot zones. This has been something I've been praying over for months. He said he's comfortable to say no to jobs where he may be at risk, I feel so much better.

    Now we are being told to wear masks when we go out - there is a good supply in my bag and in the car, not that we're planning on going out.

    I'm hoping this doesn't mean the kitchen will be delayed again. I feel like it's been forever since I've been able to bake, and I'm itiching to get started. The last lot of baking was October last year for the Christmas cakes!

    Have a lovley weekend.

    Cath XXX

    1. Cath I hope you, Wayne and the family stay safe during this awful time.

    2. Cath thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Good that Wayne can refuse jobs in hot spots to remain safe.

      We have the same thing here in Qld as a lady was standing right up against my back with a child whilst I was at a checkout. I have to say I politely told her she was meant to stand on the dot back there and pointed to it and said sorry I am immune suppressed. Thankfully she and child moved back away from me without a fuss and I said thank you I really appreciate that.

      I agree it is a worry even though we have low case numbers here and it pays to be careful.


    3. Cath I pray that you Wayne and family stay safe in this very trying and serious time
      Tonight there are several cases in the Blue Mountains so it is on its way, I hope not, on its way out to the Central West of NSW

  4. Oh congratulations Annabel! And of course to Lucy, Kato, Harper and Scarlett! What a lovely name and such a blessing at this time. I'm so thrilled he has arrived safely. They must be looking forward to bringing him home. The girls will be very excited!

    I hope you have some down time this weekend! It sounds like you still got lots done anyway.

    Its school holidays here and I have loved this week. It's been a genuinely relaxing week and we've all benefited from it.

    Enjoy your beautiful new grandson! Sending so much love to all of you!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you! The homecoming was very exciting!
      I am glad you could relax and allow some rest in school holidays. That is what they are for I think... we used to have some big sleep ins!
      Thanks so much! With love

  5. Congratulations on dear Sidney ! Prayers have been answered. The look on the girls faces and expressions ! So cute !! I'm preparing for a second wave. The virus supposed to be contained has crossed the border again it seems. I just wish it would all come to an end. With love, Sonia

    1. Thank you Sonia! I have been watching the news and all week things seem to have gone down hill not up. I know you are sensible and well set up. Victoria was bad today with a record number. I think NSW is much better though so I hope you are ok and your area. It is sad that this seems to have no real end in sight. Be careful. I am glad you have your puppy for company! With love

  6. Annabel congratulations to all on the birth of dear little Sidney Thomas. He is adorable.
    My big news is that my chooks arrived this week. The waiting list for chooks here is in the 100's. Bluey put our name down in April and we finally got them last Tuesday. Our neighbour, was four more down the list after us. and missed out. He already had chooks and was getting them for his son and family.
    We haven't noticed any shortages of groceries just yet. It may happen depending on whether the virus finds its way here. The borders open today for everyone bar Victorians. We shall see if this sees cases happening again.
    Bluey and I have gradually added everything we can think of to the Pantry. We have been doing this slowly as specials came up. I have discovered online shopping and have been able to get a few items that I havent seen when out and about.
    I sent off the overalls and undies that the Grandies had requested. Tilly facetimed me and was super happy with her Granny parcel. She loves her Granmade clothes. She did tell me she loves having a mermaid butt. This was because the undies had mermaids on them. She is such a character.
    I have been rearranging furniture in the house. I have also decided to go through all the cupboards and rearrange them. This is turning into a huge job. I have made some progress but have so much more to get through. That will be the job this weekend.
    Life is gorgeous baby good.

    1. Thank you Jane. I was so happy about your chooks. I would call that a MAJOR addition for the week for both garden and pantry! You have done well with your pantry and garden... each week you work on them. This really does add up. Also you have a good trading economy. I love that.
      The things you make for the girls are just beautiful. Plus it makes them feel so special. This is priceless.
      Ahhh at the beginning of the virus I started the cupboards and did most of them. It had a domino effect. I found a lot of things and make a lot of space! This has been good now some of those spaces are sort of extended pantry spaces. I have things now like asap drawers and baby supplies and things all over the place. I like it. It is like a hidden shop!
      With much love

  7. Sidney is a beautiful boy Annabel.From your post it seems everything went well and that makes me happy.

    Our borders in Queensland were opened today and I have a sense of "Oh oh, danger ahead!" I hope I am wrong.

    Today I turned over the main compost pile and took out the broken down compost and spread over some of the veggie garden, around the lemon tree and a little around some of the ornamental plants. I returned the material that hadn't composted sufficiently to the compost bin and then added to this the broken down food scraps from the tumbling compost bin. I used watered down liquid cows manure to liquid fertilise some of the tomatoes, other veggies and fruit trees.
    Yesterday I planted out some leeks that I have grown from seed. I also planted out some cornflower seedlings, and a delphinium seedling that I had grown from seed.
    We harvested our first carrots for the year. We also harvested from our silverbeet.
    We continue to pick our tomatoes and I diced and filled a container of roma tomatoes for the freezer and saved seed from the tomatoes as well.
    I needed to replace my recliner chair and bought one for a reasonable price on sale in our local town. I also wanted to replace my electric frypan but ended up buying a multifunction pot.
    We have round fluro lights in our ceiling and one needed replacing and Don went to the local electrical shop to find they were closing the shop front down (the business will continue to operate on a mobile basis), as they are getting rid of their shop stock he got the fluro for $2 instead of $9, so he bought the nine they had in stock. Which was a nice saving.

    Thank you for reminding us to pray for opportunities and the energy to make the most of them. I hope you and all the Bluebirds have a safe and happy week.

    1. Dear Sherri, Thank you! We are very happy too. The whole family!
      Well I also think the same as you. I see many thinking oh great QLD is open lets go. I dont see this as a great economic benefit more a virus spreader. That sounds pessimistic but I am next to Victoria which is a mess and people do the most stupid things!
      Your compost sounds very good and so does your garden! They go hand in hand!
      The lighting deal was great! Good timing on that! I hope the week gave you opportunities. Truly it is a thing to have the energy to do things or see the opportunities. But I am getting better at that and being inventive. Thinking HOW can things be used too. With much love

  8. Congratulations to the Grandma, and all. How wonderful! A safe and happy baby is everything.

  9. Congratulations on the arrival of the new grand baby 😍 he looks like a robust, healthy boy indeed! I love the name, you don’t hear of any Sidney’s anymore.

    I want to tell you a little anecdote about preparedness that happened just yesterday. It wasn’t at home it was at work, I’m a Registered Nurse. I just got a sense that I should check all the suction tubing and oxygen in our small unit. We rarely use it in my department as we are not an acute setting. Within an hour of checking it, and replacing one broken suction unit and replacing a missing part in another, we needed to use it on a patient!!!!

    Proof that we should listen to that still, small voice at all times, and in all places, and be prepared to act on it, not just in and for our own homes, but in all areas of our lives πŸ’žπŸ™

    1. Oh, Cheryl, so true! Those small promptings from God may be very important news we should act on! Thankful to hear your patient was able to receive the blessing from your active obedience (((hugs))

    2. So agree Cheryl about listening to the still small voice in all aspects of our life as it holds us all in good stead :).


  10. Dear Annabel and precious Bluebirds!!

    What a very, very, very, very, very special post this is! Your family is very blessed, Annabel, with the birth of Sidney Thomas! I am so very pleased that your Dad is enjoying having his great grandson!!

    When I work at the avocado Packhouse, I am building my bill pantry. On some days off, when I do my own cleaning jobs, I am building my basic, basic food pantry from the produce store - with whole grains and dried legumes for feeding the animals, and which I can use, too! Since I am off grid, and prefer not to use the generator, I run off a small solar-powered battery power hub; I now have USB-powered lighting and torch, which use next to no power! My gas bottles expired, so now I have larger gas bottles which are very economical. I use a wood-fired copper to heat larger amounts of water, and this is surprisingly efficient. The gas, though, is essential in bushfire season! My low expenses are reducing! As things run out, I am not replacing them, but finding simple, simple alternatives, and benefiting for the changes!! I hadn’t known that using soft, soft wood ash for cleaning the teeth could be as good as it is! Haha!! ...... Be encouraged - basics are beautiful!!


    1. Dear Rachel,
      Thank you! Yes a special special week!
      Oh and since 6 days have passed another good week! Rachel you are doing well with lots of diversification! Your mix of the avocado job and the window jobs and your home economy are adding up! You are resourceful! This in fact sets you up well! I am hoping this has been a good week also! With love

  11. Hearty congratulations Annabel on the safe arrival of your beautiful new grandson. What a lovely photo of you with your precious new bub Annabel and your Dad must be so proud to have his name carry on. Congratulations to Lucy and Kato as well. How special to have a boy. He will be the girls own baby doll, they’ll be beside themselves when they meet him. What a gorgeous photo of the girls, they are so cute.
    How good to have your new chooks. We have ex farmed chooks too.We have 4 and they lay every day, one lays a double yolker every second day. My question is, what do you do with all the eggs Annabel? My fridge is already overflowing with eggs. I don’t see many people to share my bounty with. It’s also a struggle sharing the household scraps between the chooks, the guinea pigs and the compost heap! πŸ˜‚
    Your cottage sounds magical. I can’t wait to see it revealed. Andy did well getting all those aggies and using them in the cottage garden. They will look stunning against the
    your little white home.
    I made my very first spinach and ricotta pie today!! It was delicious. A friend gave me a big bag of medium size spinach leaves and I used 6 eggs from my girls. It’s a wonderful feeling to use what you grow or have at home. I’m cutting and freezing most of it as hubby doesn’t eat it, but I’ll be making it again.
    Also made jam turnovers and date scones this week. I made a different pumpkin soup to my usual and it was so tasty. I adjusted a recipe from my daughter for Satay Chicken and it’s delicious, now another addition to favourite meals.
    I really think things with the Virus will explode again here in NSW. Tonight on the news reports of more cases in our State, and with so many people here from Victoria it’s not going to be good. When shopping in Gunnedah this week the shelves were still full, except the toilet paper which was half empty. I’ve been adding what I can while shopping. I bought more undies as don’t want to be short on them. I have the medicine chest well stocked.
    Well Annabel, I wish you and our fellow Bluebirds a happy and restful weekend.
    Lorraine W xxπŸ’‍♀️

    1. Dear Lorraine,
      Thank you! Yes Sidney is like the girls baby and they think they are in charge I think!
      Lorraine with the eggs... I keep Lucy and family and Mum and Dad in eggs. I meet up with my friend Wendy once a month (usually) and if I have a few dozen I take them to her as we trade. I have a cook up of course. As you get to know people you may be able to sell some or trade some. Also... if eggs really get away from me I know a lady who rescues unwanted dogs and re trains them. I gave her six dozen eggs this week. I love to be able to do this. As you get to know more people you might even find a family with small children or older people who would love some eggs. Trading seems to happen from there.
      Spinach and ricotta is delicious! So does all your cooking!
      The whole week has been terrible as far as the virus goes. eek. I remember when the bus load of shoppers turned up... these things could happen again. You are in the right place and you have done all the right things! We just have to keep adding as we can. With much love

  12. Congratulations Annabel and of course Lucy, Kato, Harper and Scarlett on the birth of your beautiful grandson, son and baby brother- Sidney! What a beautiful boy! What a beautiful name! He is gorgeous. The girls must be so excited. The family must be over the moon. There isn't anything better in life!
    I am a bit nervous about our borders opening. That is greta news about the chickens. We also got some more chickens, we now have 6- they are only small, but we were lucky to find them. We will have to wait a few months to see if they are layers.
    Lots of love, BW

    1. Dear BW, Thank you! I am glad you got some more chickens and hope they will be good layers. Six is a good number. I feel mine always take a bit longer than expected to become good layers. But they do.
      Yes the family is over the moon! Absolutely!
      I hope you have had a good week. Sorry for my slow reply it has been so busy! With much love

  13. CONGRATULATIONS to the new parents, hope the girls enjoy meeting their little brother.
    please stay safe & well with this latest outbreak
    thanx for sharing

    1. Dear Selina, Thank you! Oh the meeting was so sweet. They are in love with Sidney. I have some photos to share! Thanks so much, with love

  14. Congrats to the entire family family. What a handsome boy. New adventures are headed your way!

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you! We are so Blessed! I hope your week has gone well! With love

  15. Welcome to the world little Sidney! Congratulations to Lucy, Kato and family. How gorgeous and wonderful. Gee Annabel, you still got a lot done besides welcoming Sidney - amazing. My Dad is still in Melbourne - he has 5 days to go until his discharge date and we are all counting down. We have been in contact with government authorities because we are not sure of rules in getting him out and back to the farm, particularly as my Mum has been staying with my sister in Melbourne. I would appreciate any prayers that we get them both home safely. It is hard not to worry because Melbourne has virus cases popping up everywhere including some hospitals. Also my daughter goes to school just over the border in NSW so we need permits etc. Because we get a permit we are not allowed to go very far into Victoria which means I cannot get to any family and therefore am effectively locked down like Melbourne areas. These are trying times. My biggest blessing this week was being able to pick four huge bags of apples - from an orchard that has already been picked over - but there were so many left. I was wishing I could share with people what was left on the trees. I have managed to preserve some in my Vacola Fowlers jars but have many more to process. Over the last little while I managed to buy two bantam Australorps to join my little gang I called them Margaret after the lady I bought them off (a neighbor of my parents) and Jenny after my Mum. I told Mum I can see Margaret and Jenny out my kitchen window. She loved that. I am so glad I got them when I did because two of my four chickens revealed themselves as roosters this week (it is going to be a hard decision who to keep as now I have three roosters and the two new ones are very pretty). I have been getting four eggs a day which is plenty for my little family. Stay safe everyone, Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, Thanks so much! Ok I am hoping your Dad is home now? What a difficult time. And nothing has improved in Melbourne in these last days,, worst of all today... It seems every simple thing is now a nightmare to navigate.
      We are experiencing some of this with Lucy and Kato so close to the border. I see no end in sight either. I will be praying Clare.
      The apples are a big blessing!! How wonderful so many were left behind!! You can do so much with apples!! And how much fun to be preserving. It is lovely about the new Bantams!! I love them as you know!
      4 eggs a day is good. Maybe having a rooster you might hatch some chickens sometime since Bantams are good mothers. Chickens are valuable now too!
      I hope all is well with your Dad. I am sorry it is so difficult. Keep focusing on what you can do like the good job you did with those apples! Well done! With love

  16. Such beautiful news Annabel! So thankful the birth went well and you have all been blessed with little Sydney Thomas!

    Have you considered incubating eggs for chicks? It seems your area is in such dire need of laying hens, and a nice roo for freezer would also be welcome, I'm sure. Probably would provide a nice little side farm income...

    Have a very blessed day ladies!

    1. Dear Kath,
      Thank you! Yes I am considering incubating. I can have the loan of an incubator too... or I could buy one. I would love to do it! I have room for more chooks too. So this is totally on my radar now. Thank you for the suggestion. With love

  17. Congratulations to Lucy, Kato and of course you Annabel for the safe arrival of beautiful Sidney. I am so glad you were allowed in to see Lucy and Sidney :).

    You have done so well this week and no doubt the cottage painted and now some plants in the gardens surrounding it will look beautiful. Glad you have added more chickens to your flock which is a wise move and sorry to hear that the grocery shops are so extremely busy with people buying huge quantities.

    I agree it is a worry to see what is going on both with the virus and political international tit for tatting too. I am expecting us all to have supply chain issues not only in groceries but lots of other goods too so yes being prudent and thinking ahead will be so important.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $302.10 in savings last week :).

    Finances -
    - Our pays went up between the two of us so we added more savings to our 3 month living expenses emergency fund bringing us to 73.68% of the way there to our goal.
    - Paid an extra part payment off our home mortgage.
    - Went to battle and rang up our bank over our mortgage interest rate and they reduced it by .13% from what it was. DH also spoke to our loans manager in our local branch about bringing the interest rate down lower again and he will get back to us via email. We negotiated on the fact we had found lower variable interest rates elsewhere and quoted what it was telling them they were not competitive :). Worth a try everyone !!.

    Internet listings -
    - Listed 22 handmade items on eBay on a free listing promotion saving $36.30 on usual listing fees.

    In the kitchen -
    - cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Blanched and or sliced capsicums and snow peas into meal sized portions for the freezer.

    Pantry stocking -
    - Used $20 off I had earned in promotions to put in an online grocery order to stock up on free 12 tins of wet cat food and 6 packets of baking chocolate chips.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 1.3kg of snow peas and 2.5 kg of capsicums from the vegetable gardens saving $29.80 over purchasing them in the stores.

    Purchases -
    - Bought a new pair of sandals at BigW for $3 saving $7 on usual prices.
    - Put in an order to complete our pantry for items used during grocery restrictions. With using a $10 off promotion and coupling with weekly specials and using our RACQ grocery e-gift cards I saved $44 on usual prices.
    - Also used a 3000 point or $15 off promotion to use on our next grocery order.

    Firewood -
    - Cut another cubic metre of free firewood saving $150 over purchasing it in.

    Have a great week ahead everyone and take care :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Thank you Lorna!
      Well done on being pro active re the mortgage. I am often amazed how much a phone call can save.
      You have done so well with your emergency fund. Nearly to 80% now! Week by week you are also working through that wood! Consistency always amazes me as things just add up. What might be daunting really when broken down week by week is not too bad!
      With eBay listings and pantry stocking this was a very good week! That is a great aloud of snow peas too and capsicums! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  18. A new baby-the best news ever!

  19. So I should have went with older chickens I think. I'm having a hard time getting little chicks and big chickens together. So I'm waiting till they get bigger.
    Congratulations on the new grandbaby!

    1. Dear Vickie, Yes it is hard to blend new ones with big ones. These went straight in and they all worked it out pretty much right away. But you can lose them if they gang up on smaller ones. I actually have an old rabbit hutch inside the chook yard. Small ones can live in there for a bit and the big ones get used to them but cant actually get to them. So that protection gets me through until they are big enough and they all seem to take no notice of each other. I am so glad you have chickens. They are the biggest help for food supply I think. Thank you Vickie! With love

  20. Congratulations beautiful grandma and baby! ♥️

  21. Congratulations to the family on the arrival of Sidney Thomas! He's so sweet. The photo of the girls' reaction is priceless! You had your usual productive week plus helping out with the baby's arrival. You are a precious wonder, Anabelle! Love and hugs to you all! Shirley USA

    1. Dear Shirley,
      Thank you that is so kind. Love and hugs to you too. I am hoping you are staying safe and well. With much love,

  22. Annabel,
    What a precious addition to your family. Sidney is adorable! Lol I love the photo of the girls, it's priceless!
    Your cottage is going to look so homey with the addition of the flowers. Little touches here and there make a big difference.
    I'm doing a little deep composting in my one tomato garden so saved a small bucket of scraps for that. I want to bump up their growth a bit.
    I did lots of this and that this week, but nothing huge.
    I feel like I'm keeping a steady pace with my preparedness adding as I can and growing what I can. I expect we'll start seeing a growth rate in the virus here soon and high rate of it as it gets colder.
    I made $80 this week participating in focus groups and made a few little gifts. So a bit of a slow week, but still progress. The garden takes up quite a bit of my time right now.
    I love your new chooks!

    1. Dear Vicky, Thank you! Sorry to be so slow to reply! We had some rain so the plants I put in a round the cottage are all standing up straight and already look like some kind of noticeable garden. Ot the beginnings of one!
      You did great with the focus group earnings! That is a lot!
      I know now the garden work would be keeping you very busy. But I saw it is looking amazing. It is drowning fast. I am hoping for a huge harvest for you. If you can live on it, preserve it, trade it and gift it you will cover all the bases! This is adding to your Victory Pantry in a lot of ways! With love

  23. Congratulations on your new grandson! I'm sure the girls will be so helpful to Lucy and be proper little mothers to him.

    1. Thanks Marie. I think the girls already think they are all the Mothers! xxx

  24. Annabelle, I was so pleased to see the pictures of little Sidney and his big sisters. He is a beautiful baby and I think those photos are frame-worthy. I know grandmother was ready for a rest! You got so much done on top of being there for the birth. You inspire me every week!

    We lost my favorite hen this week and I don't know what happened. So we are down to 3 big hens and one little banty. My granddaughter has an extra rooster and will be delivering him soon so hopefully we will have some babies one of these days and the banty tends to get broody so I'm counting on her. I added some wood ash to their pen in their dust bath area as I heard that works to get rid of mites.

    I cleaned out areas in the small pantry so I can store my 3 canners inside rather than in the outside shop so they will be easier to get to. Every day I try to clean up some area of the spring garden, along with a bit of re-arranging in the pantries. I get excited when I find a bare spot to store more stuff!

    We found ground pork on sale so made up a bunch of breakfast sausage patties for the freezer. Today we have a large batch of jalapeno pepper jelly in process. We moved our generator closer to the house and checked to be sure it is working properly so it will be handy if we need it.

    I made several repairs with E6000 glue and it worked good on a pair of sandals, a wicker chair that was coming undone and a piece of pottery (planter) that was broken. Trying to extend the life of whatever I can. I actually cleaned and polished 3 pairs of sandals hoping they will last another summer :D

    Have a blessed week, my Bluebird friends.

  25. Dear Annabel,
    Congratulations to Lucy and Kato on the safe arrival of Sidney Thomas. God's blessing to them on their new addition. You look totally enamored with him. He is so sweet. I burst out laughing at Harper's facepalm reaction. She's probably thinking of all the work she will having playing with him and watching over him as she did with Scarlett. LOL I love it.
    Out tomatoes are finally in blossom. The high 90's has been rough trying to keep the tomatoes, peepers, strawberries, and potatoes watered. Except for a couple of planters of annuals and the established perennials, I've not bothered with other annuals due to expense and time.
    I bought a few dozen eggs last shopping trip and froze them... works very well. i've done the same for milk Stay safe everyone.
    Blessings, Laura.

    1. Dear Laura,
      Thank you! I have some lovely photos for Fridays post. Ahh the girls love their little brother.
      When it is hot there is so much watering to do. And usually that is twice a day here. And its vital you can lose things quickly. But if you get a good harvest it is worth it!
      It is great you were able to get ahead on eggs and milk. I hope your week has been good this week Laura, time is getting away from me! With love

  26. Congratulations to you all on a beautiful baby boy! I just love that photo of the you say, "classic"!!

    Just got back from the annual strawberry picking trip. The price went up almost double from last year, which is disappointing, so we picked a bit less. (I still had some in the freezer from last year.) A bunch are in the freezer, I will make jam, and the rest we will eat over the next while. The garden is doing very well, though we have a raccoon that is traipsing through and I hope won't eat all the raspberries when they ripen. Have to put on my thinking cap to see what I can figure out to deter it.

    It is very hot today, so I am trying to decide if I should wee (the garden needs it!!) or cut swiss chard and freeze it, or move on with jam making. It all has to get done eventually, ha!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you! I am glad you still were able to get some strawberries and it sounds like a fun outing too.
      I have zero experience with racoons! I am not even sure how big they are. But I hope you can deter him somehow.
      You have plenty of summer jobs to do. When it is hot I keep inside during the worst of it and work outside in the early morning or late evening, where possible. Heat is exhausting. But it is so good you have harvesting to do and jam to make! I hope you get a huge harvest. With love

  27. Annabel,
    Congrats on the new grandbaby!!
    The food supply is very limited where I live in the U.S. and this makes stocking my pantry nearly impossible. I have set up an additional pantry in a back bedroom that has a closet with shelves. Yesterday I was able to find some fabric-not large enough for my needs but fabric is very hard to find here as well. I sewed a curtain to cover the grocery filled shelves. The curtain was not long enough so I found a scrap of fabric in my stash and sewed that to the bottom. It actually looks really nice.
    I don't want to sound like things are impossible to find here just that I don't feel safe going into the big chain stores so I go to the smaller shops that are mostly empty shelves but I get what I can and I feel in a safer manner.
    I plan to make a small batch of strawberry jam tomorrow and with what I have already made that should be enough to get us about a year supply and I will also gift some.
    Stay safe everyone!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience in the USA. It is very helpful and interesting to me. I am noting what you ares saying about fabric!! A good idea on the curtain to cover your shelves!
      I understand your thinking about the big stores. I am not sure if home deliver services are available to you but to me a deliver is a good option. Personally I am too remote to have this option. I pray you get opportunities to stock up and get your hands on what you need. Did you ever think you would see this day? It really is a warning to us all. Thank you for your comment. xxx

  28. Congratulations to the whole family! It's lovely to hear some good news at this time. I'm sure the girls will spoil him and be a good help to mom.

    I've been reading in the news about the problem in Melbourne - really hope it gets contained quickly.

    We are doing well here - the whole province is now in stage 2 of reopening but stage 3 is probably still a few weeks off and will no doubt come in a staggered manner. Numbers are coming down steadily and our infection rate is under 1% - thank God! As long as the border with the US stays closed I'm happy! There is now speculation that it won't reopen until the new year! Ontario companies did a great job of adapting and switching to produce PPE and other items that were suddenly hard to find and now the Premier has set up a website to let us know about these sorts of companies so that we can support them. It is just starting up so I'm going to hold off on a few purchases until I see what is out there.

    I continue to restock bit by bit - no panic. I find that it's odd things that suddenly aren't in stock and I think it's more of a delivery issues than an actual shortage. Often I will be speaking with a friend who will mention that she hasn't been able to find A) for a couple of weeks but in my part of town there is no problem. Then I'll mention something that I can't find and she'll say that she's just picked up 3 of that! Toronto is a very large city so it's not surprising that there are discrepancies. At some stage we may be able to meet up and do a trade! :-)

    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Dear Margie, Thank you! All the way over there you are hearing about Melbourne! Well it got a bit worse not better since yesterday... It sounds like Toronto is doing really well. I do think it is great to have shopping buddies as this is true here too... some areas have different things to others! I am glad it is very good there for you! With love

  29. Congratulations to everyone on the new baby! I raised five of my own but being a Nana is just the best! I know you are felling that too. <3

    1. Dear Lana, Thanks so much! Yes I agree. I feel very blessed! With love

  30. Congratulations the baby is adorable....babies are always good news.

  31. Congraultions on the new grandbaby!
    A fairly quiet week here, I did have to venture out though and what a dispiriting exercise that was. I actually got asked asked in the building society if I needed the money I went in for! How I held my tongue I do not know, I had already decided to close the account when things settle down a bit, but this just put the tin hat on it all. I honestly think that covid has become an excuse for appalling customer service.
    Have a lovely week ladies and stay safe.

    1. Dear Su,
      Thank you! Really!!? Gosh... that is interesting. And terrible. I had something to report like this.. only different. I went to get money out of the bank to move to another bank... so all my eggs are not in one basket. Instead of trying to talk me out of it the two tellers said to me "good idea" NOW that is saying something! xxx

  32. Dear Annabel,

    A huge CONGRATULATIONS on the safe arrival of Sidney Thomas. He will certainly be a treasure in all your lives. So glad to read that all is well with the baby. The girls will be thrilled!

    Much love and blessings,
    Tania xxx

    1. Thank you dear Tania,
      Yes he is a treasure. I am so thrilled as the moment I became a Grandmother life changed so much! Like life changes when you become a Mother... no one tells you how that is as you cant explain it. Like that! xxx

  33. Congratulations on the new baby. He is beautiful. I can't wait until our great grandson arrives this month! Nancy

    1. Thank you Nancy! How exciting for you too! I find the waiting a bit nerve wracking so I hope your Great grandson is here safely soon also! xxx

  34. Congratulations to your family, Annabel. Another bub in your family who will be much loved. Like Sherri in her comment I am also nervous about our Queensland border opening after being in our bubble since the first of April. I did stock up on a couple of items which were in short supply during the panic buying earlier on. I could do with a cow to milk though but unfortunately live in town πŸ˜‚. Enjoy your little one as they grow so quickly as you know.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, There are a fair few Bluebirds in QLD so I listen up. I heard last week many comments on the numbers of people heading there... when southern states are closing and QLD is opening... This movement of people itself seems dicy to me. We have the same here though... people trying to get around border blocks etc but that has been put to an end now with the army! These are not normal times that is for sure... With love

  35. What a lovely little baby boy. I wish him a happy and healthy long life. The photo of the 2 sisters is priceless. Does the photo reflect their personalities?
    Congratulations to the whole family.
    Here we await more virus as the border opens. We all need to step back, look after ourselves and friends and family and realize just because we are told we can do something does not mean we must do it.

    1. Thank you! Yes Harper is more shy and reserved. Artist and thoughtful. Scarlett is outgoing and up for anything and more outdoorsy and adventurous. I really agree with you! Just because we are told something doesnt make it right. We were officially told to go out and eat in Chinatown as the virus could not be transmitted via people! Err... that didnt age well. Then masks dont help. then masks do. Back and forth on that. Oh then it lives on surfaces then it doesnt but now it does... mmm not inspiring confidence. Being able to go to the pub etc doesnt mean its a great idea either and hasnt turned out for many. We really need to use commons sense and our wisdom and caution. I agree! xxx

  36. Congratulations to you and your family. I love that even while taking care of the girls you were busy seeing how to add to your pantry at home with the lemon picking!

    While things are appearing to settle down here in our area, with prices nearing 'normal' and shelves mostly better stocked, I am feeling cautious and planning to do a little stocking up on non-grocery items. I have three sets of sheets for our bed but two flats had busted elastic during the pandemic shutdown. I managed a workable repair on the one sheet and will now tackle the other, but it made me mindful that when I started my youthful married life I had 14 sets of sheets and felt I'd never run out and yet 13 years later I had 1...I might not buy 14 sets but I'll certainly be buying a couple of sets more and elastic as well as thread and some material that might make patches.
    I want to deepen my pantry but I'm also thinking of ways I might deepen my skills as well.
    As for the virus it's certainly NOT died back in the heat as we were told. My former son in law was exposed via a co-worker and now my granddaughter and he are quarantined at home. I'd appreciate prayers for him as he's a single parent to granddaughter.

    1. Dear Terri, Oh I do feel for your re your son and Grand daughter and will pray. I heard this... the hope that summer would be helpful. The flip side is we were worried that we were going into wine plus flu season at the same time as the virus as broken out. I cant really say the outcome as we are truly in the middle of it.
      I like having good sheets and spares! Clean linen is the nicest thing!
      Thank you too re your congratulations. With love

  37. Sidney is beautiful and a very blessed boy to be born into a loving family. I imagine both sisters will love and spoil him dearly.

    Covid is rising at an alarming rate here but most people here don’t seem to think it will ever affect them. I think they are very naive. We are stockpiled at home on everything I can think of and are taking all the recommended precautions.

    1. Dear Rhonda, Thank you so much! Yes I agree... we hardly know what to expect next. Near Lucys place today there were the army, the police and border patrol and three TV stations. This is a tiny single lane track! It is like out of a movie and a bit scary. Priced with caution I say! With love

  38. What wonderful and exciting news!! Congratulations Annabel, and especially to Lucy, Kato and the girls. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  39. Annabel, congratulations on the arrival of Sidney! What joy! What a precious blessing!! Much love from Teresa

  40. Dear Annabel
    Congratulations to you and you family. You must all be over the moon with the birth of Sidney Thomas. He is beautiful.

    We live on the outskirts of a small historic town that has always been a tourist destination. Yesterday there was a demonstration a bad counter demonstration at the town square. Honestly, I never thought this would happen here. Apparently it was outsiders. Our virus stats have risen each day since tourist season began. No one is wearing a mask or social distancing is what we noticed when we went to the farm market.

    Mostly for us it was a quiet week of working in the garden. More chard was harvested as well as the first beets, more basil and oregano. We are continuing to reorganize space, make running lists of what needs to be filled in. Wishing all Bluebirds a good week ahead. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Thank you so much!
      This business of outsiders coming in... someone is organising them obviously. It is dangerous that is for sure. I am sorry you are having this so near by. I know you are well set up to stay at home and lay low as needed. Also content to do so with crafting to do. This is a good thing. Garden work and produce is the best!! You are already harvesting a lot so this will keep you busy. Basil is a total favourite of mine! Stay safe and sound. With much love,

  41. Dear Annabel,
    Congratulations to All on adorable baby Sydney! I am so glad everyone is doing well!

    We are still experiencing extreme heat. It is 111 F right now with an expected high of 115F. I have been trying to limit use of the oven and combining several things if we do bake. I had been meaning to put up light and heat blocking curtains in the room our daughter is using as a work from home office. Although I didn't get them made,we were able to hang the fabric behind the curtains and it isn't apparent from the outside. It is helping keep the room a bit cooler. We are keeping close watch on the water for our plants, keeping hydrated and limiting time outside, especially in the heat of the day.

    I was able to add $39 of over the counter medications and bandages to our stock with no cost and free delivery from husband's insurance. While I was looking into ordering those things, I found out that a prescription savings plan we have through Kroger grocery can also be used for a big discount on several things we use that are available over the counter as long as we have a prescription sent. I placed an order for 90 day supplies of a few things and saved a substantial amount while getting a good supply for our pantry. I was pleased to learn the pharmacy had extended free delivery of those things, too.

    It is kind of scary knowing that Arizona leads not only our country, but the world in Covid 19 cases by percentage. Our governor spoke and really didn't say anything helpful. My husband had a doctor's appointment during which his doctor told him it was scary for him to go to the hospital even though he had to go tend his patients. Some people are pushing to have schools start in person. Others are going out and about as if things are normal and refusing to wear masks. We are staying in most of the time, wearing masks when we do need to go out, getting things that we need by ordering online and either having them mailed, delivered or picked up outside the store. We are also choosing to make do or do without. When we do order for pick-up, we make sure to get everything we can think of that is needed, has been hard to get and will will build our pantry.

    Wishing you and the Beautiful Bluebirds a safe and happy week!
    With love from Arizona,

    I made a jar of peach jam using your directions and some frozen peaches we had been gifted. It is delicious! I am planning to made another bigger batch.

    1. Dear Elaine, I am sorry about the hot weather, I struggle with the heat and the work of keeping the garden and animals all ok.
      The insurance extra OTC medications is so good. This is a great way to add to your supplies.
      I did see some all about Arizona on the news. Hearing directly from your own doctor is probably more revealing than the Governor. We have had a continuous stream of go out and socialise, dont go out and socialise, dont wear masks, wear masks. I mean to say... Better yet we have the message to stay at home and TV adds that say explore your state.
      I think having items delivered is wise. You can disinfect and leave things outside too in the sun where possible. Overall the less exposure you have the less risk. There are the times were prepared for. I hope you can remain safe and your home is your sanctuary in this time.
      Oh I am glad you liked the peach jam! It is a lovely colour and scent too I feel. With love

  42. Congratulations to you and your family Annabel!
    Precious little boy. So glad all is well with Momma and son.

  43. Greetings from northern Idaho USA, and congratulations on the birth of your grandson!

    This was my week--
    * I picked about 4 more pounds of strawberries from my garden this week. So far I have picked about 8 lb. and should get a few more. They are about done for the year, which wasn't a really good one for strawberries because it rained so much. I harvested a handful of raspberries and enough beet greens for dinner one night.

    * I built up my pantry when I was able to buy fresh blueberries for $1.99 lb. and top sirloin steak for $3.99 lb.--killer prices for both. I bought about 10 lbs. of steak, cut it into serving-size pieces, and froze it. (I had the meat cutter tenderize some for cube steaks).

    * I made two batches of low sugar blueberry freezer jam (my husband's favorite). I made two batches of strawberry freezer jam the week before, when strawberries were only .94 lb.

    * The internet service provider at our vacation home changed ownership. We were being charged $54.99 per month for DSL, which we use for computing and streaming while we are there, and have a wi-fi thermostat. (It wasn't this much when we started, but there were several price increases over the years). I called the new owner, prepared to do battle, and they signed me up for their $35 DSL only plan without a fight. It only took a few minutes, and she didn't even try to sell me a bundle!

    * We turn on a lamp each night that has to remain on until after everyone has gone to bed. It usually just gets left on all night. I put it on a lamp timer that we already had. Not sure why it took me so long to do this!

    * I used a $7 off coupon at Ace Hardware to purchase furnace/AC filters.

    * I made a summery new cover for a throw pillow with fabric left from curtains I made years ago for the vacation house. I made tassels for the 4 corners. I watched a You Tube to remind me how and learned how to hide the pieces of yarn used to tye off the tassels. All of the sewing I have done in the past few weeks has been with fabric and notions I already had. So far, I've spent $0.

    1. Dear Maxine, Wha a good strawberry harvest! To me that many pounds is amazing! The Blueberries were a wonderful deal. It is berry time for you! Great idea on the lamp. Sometimes we just need a moment to set these things up then we reap the benefits.
      The tassels sound lovely! I have seen tassels lately as necklaces... like long pedants which I have loved the look of. You might have many applications for tassels! The cushions sound perfect and our prefect price ! With love

  44. Wonderful news!
    Congratulations to you all :)
    Love, Heidi xx

  45. Congratulations to your whole family! Welcome to the world Baby Sidney!! That photo of the girls is hilarious! Can't tell if Harper is happy or not. ;)
    How did the McKinleys get ahead? We've been blessed by 2 kind friends. One passed on extra fruit and juice that she was given. Another had her extra freezer go out on her. She passed on extra meat to us although I offered to store it for her. The children and I plan to pick wild blackberries at a nearby park tomorrow.

    1. Thank you Leslie! You had some great bonuses! And blackberry picking would be wonderful to. I know you will put it all to good use! xxx

  46. Congratulations on the safe arrival of your darling grandson Annabel! Harpers reaction is priceless! I hope your week has been full of lovely cuddles and special memories. I'm sorry to be so late to commenting. I've had a frantic week. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you! The weeks are busy and going by fast. If you have a frantic week it is even faster! I hope you get a quieter weekend! With love


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