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 2 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 3 July, 2020.

This week has been cold and wet!  We now have had enough rain that water is laying in the paddocks and some places become wetlands. This is good!

Some of the ways I managed to get ahead and build up the pantry and garden were:

If the rain stopped I ran outside and did all I could.  I managed to add some wheelbarrows of hay into my raised garden beds in these times.

We had a working bee on the cottage.  It is painted outside now!!  Soon I will put up some before and after photos.   I made up morning tea and lunches.

To do the stuff I can't manage I hired three local young men.  They seemed to feel it was great fun and had a good day.  One of them had a spray painting set up so the outside of the house and the shed were painted so quickly.  It looked dumpy. Now it looks fresh and new.

I have cupboards to clean and a wooden floor to restore as it was covered in a nasty glue.  But we are really getting there on this project!

I continued to work on my pantry.   Over the last few weeks I have organised, re homed, added shelving and anything I can.  I turned some household cupboards into a pantry extension.  This week I added a little shelf in a blank space.  It is just right for all the cake decorating bits and pieces.  So now I also have a free basket for something else.   It will be cute as the girls will be able to stand on the steps and pick their sprinkles! 

The little shelf was from the cheap shop. Many things for my pantry have been from the op shop (thrift store) or the cheap shop.   Also I use free food grade buckets.  Many restaurants and cafes throw these away!

I made up some baked rice custard.  I worked out if I do it in smaller containers and fill them up with my cups... there is less hot water to splash around.  So this is how I do it now.

I like cinnamon as you can tell.  This is a great way to use up eggs, milk and left over cooked rice!  

I participated in The Working Pantry challenge for the week.  It was simply to add an extra or extras of anything we were buying.   So these were my extras.

I put as much into it as I could as getting ahead with my pantry is a big focus right now.   

I did find a few good deals at the stores including marked down apples and pears. 

There are a couple of ladies I look to for wisdom.  Most people are aware of their local situation.  Some people are aware of their countries situation.  Not many people are aware of the world situation.  I get strong feelings about what I need to be doing.   And I am glad that when a few years ago I felt to begin to stock up and LEARN that I did put it into action.   As 2019 went along I felt it with great urgency.  Several of these ladies told me they felt a great urgency to prepare around Christmas and New Year.  Well, they weren't wrong!  Now I am so thankful I had so much confirmation to get on with it.   Because of this we even added generators,  freezers, chickens... I can't even list all we have been doing.  Oh, lol, I should mention we actually felt to move out of the city and to the farm and we did that!  

So I was discussing with my trusted friends and older ladies the subject of where are we now and want to do next?!

One of my most trusted long term friends lives in California.  She wrote to me early in the week and she told me something that shocked me.  She said people she knows there feel that the first half of 2020 was "The CALM before the storm"   This is from the person I think most highly of.  mmm

I discussed this with another friend who said she believes this could be true.  So I prayed and prayed about this.  We can't know the future but we need to be watchful, prudent and do what is needed.  This is part of why the Proverbs 31 woman is not afraid of the future!    Apart from faith she has wisdom and action.  For a whole evening I prayed and though on it.
The next day I went into town.  I needed to go to the post office and I got there and the doors were shut!!   An old man was waiting and he told me it would re open in ten minutes.  He said "the world is upside down now, you know."  I said "yes I know!" 
I decided to wait.   He turned to me and said "I lived through the Great Depression you know, I've seen it all before."   This hit me like a bolt given my prayers the night before.   So we talked.  He said that he lived through the depression, actually in an area of our state where my Grandmothers family lived.  He said he believed we are going into a depression and he said "there will be no food you know."   I asked him how on earth do you know when you have gone from a recession to a depression?   Like where is that line?  He said "oh you know.  It is not a gradual thing.  It is a day.  One day you get up and everything is shut.  Everyone knows.  It is like a collapse."  And so I used this ten minutes to ask him everything I could think of remembering last night I had prayed for answers. 
As the Post Office re opened I thanked him so much for talking to me and sharing his knowledge and experience.  He was just lovely.  

Later I thought !!! I prayed for guidance. I got this!!

Still I doubt myself and wonder did God line him up for me to get the message through my thick head?

The next night I turned on the TV for the news.   There was our Prime Minister.  He looked pretty sombre.  He was making announcements and he said how the world is looking increasingly like the world looked in the 1930s.   He repeated the 1930's two or three times.  So here we go again.  
So by now I accept and believe that I can't get away from the same answer over and over.
If you are younger go read up on the 1930's.  

Our neighbouring state has a major outbreak of the virus and they seem to have gone from bad to worse.   This is all too close for comfort and Lucy has 5 days to go to "baby day!"   I feel it is a race against the clock.

When we have some information coming in, life seems upside down,  the news stations are not reliable and even try and inflame situations,  everyone has an opinion...  we just want things to go back to normal... it is very easy to get battle fatigue and switch off.  But I encourage you to be awake and watchful and to pray.   If I can find it I am going to re post a story from Mel who shared how her Grandmother listened to her mother in law and prepared.  It is the most wonderful story that is very motivating.  What we do now makes a difference. What we do now affects several generations! (at least!) 

How did your week go?  Were you able to add to your pantry or garden and build up your home?
What are you seeing in your state or town?  I am about to go into our town so I will soon find out.  I know restrictions are back on what you can buy.  

Please pray that Lucy and Kato's baby can arrive safely in a covid free hospital. xxx

I found Mel's family story.  I hope this blesses you. 

One story that I have shared with Annabel and would like to pass on to you. It sits with me because I needed to learn this lesson. I have often found it hard to take advice, on some fronts. As I have grown older I am eager to learn from others but as a young Mother I was prideful and did not always listen to others seeking not advice but wallowing in my ignorance. 
This is why I am so amazed by the actions taken by my grandmother when she was a young woman. As I have mentioned before both my grandparents were very frugal and did not spend unnecessarily. Despite their limited income they did put away for the rainy day. So as a young woman and new mother my Grandmother no doubt was caught up in daily life and not overly interested in current events but her Mother and Father in law had lived through WW1 and no doubt feared what was coming in the early 1930’s. My great Grandfather was an ANZAC and my great Grandmother had been home with young children on her own. 
When they feared the coming war my great Grandmother advised my Grandmother on what had become in short supply during WW1 and what to stock up on. Namely soap and other toiletries, sugar, fabric, wool, first aid goods and luxury items such as stockings etc. Now with plenty of other things to spend their money on my Grandparents took this advice. My mother tells me all their clothes were taken out of their drawers and a layer of cakes of soap was laid down and then their clothes put back on top. This happened in every room (this also deters moths). Then my grandmother bought a barrel of sugar and old jumpers second hand from the markets to unpick. She also stocked up on cottons and went into overdrive in canning her home grown goods.
There were other things they did like finish off everything needed doing in the house and prepare their garden. It is great to grow fruit trees but we all know they often take a few years to take off. Vegetable garden was increased and Golden syrup stocked up on. As well my Grandmother had a stockpile of sheets and towels. Now we know how helpful extra sheets used for fabric or bandages or many other uses can be but at her age it would not have been my first thought.
During the war my mother and her sister were always clean. Soap was grated to wash clothes, and for bathing. My Grandmother made pulled candy and all the local kids got a few pieces on their birthday during the war and when sugar was rationed. My grandmother was able to feed and clothe her family simply because she listened and took in this advice which I must say I might have shrugged off in her position. Six years is a long time to struggle thro ugh without many basics and also rationing went on for a while after simply because many things were in such short supply.
Today I read:
Proverbs 19:20
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.


  1. Dear Annabel,
    I am praying for Lucy and the baby. I do hope all goes extremely smoothly.

    As you know, we went double duty this summer planting and expanding our gardens. Our fruit trees are very productive this year, as are all the berry bushes. We praise God for that and His many blessings.

    I am going through the house in survival mode and eliminating all that doesn't pertain to what is normally used, what is used for food production, items we would need if they became unavailable and assessing everything that will be needed for the next five years.

    My husband is buying all the potting soil, seeds, containers, etc for next year. We just don't think they will be readily available when the time comes.

    Dehydrating, canning and freezing will be our focus this summer, along with purchasing more of the items we rotate regularly in our food storage. I have been checking on the companies that have the long term 40 lb sealed buckets of grains and legumes back in stock now. We have many, but more will help others.

    I am planning winter projects, also, as we won't be out and about due to the viruses that will hit again and our cold winter weather. I want to make sure our home is our fortress and laden with whatever we need.
    We plan on purchasing another tread mill for exercise as we will be, mostly, housebound.

    May God bless each of you, Bluebirds.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Hi Glenda,

      Thank you for this welcome idea; I will need more containers for seed starting next year, and didn't think of it until now.

      Kind regards,

    2. Thanks for this comment Glenda. I am going to talk to my husband about some of the things you have listed here. God bless you too.

    3. Dear Glenda, Thank you very much as you have given me some ideas and also the other ladies. You are one of my trusted circle that I look to. When you say or do something I listen. You knew something was happening this year long before it did. I think planning to make your home a fortress is a good way to put it. No need to go out when it is not a good idea. Stay put and also be content staying put. Now a lot of people have trouble with this. Their feet cannot stay home even when it is a time to stay home due to the virus, civil unrest or whatever. Thank you for sharing all you have. With love

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  3. I too am doing the Working Pantry Challenge" and tomorrow I'm going to pick up a few items to fulfill the latest one. I will also add a few more food items to the pantry as yes, I too think we will have a bad second wave come the winter.
    Canada isn't doing too badly - we even made the EU list - but no one I know is even considering getting on a plane - never mind a cruise ship! Some provinces are completely Covid free now and Ontario finally got the infection rate down to under 1% today!
    Toronto is only just into stage 2 reopening and they are watching the numbers closely so it will probably be another week or two before they even consider stage 3 - although some areas of the province might move to it next week - we'll see.
    Today it became mandatory to wear masks on public transit and next week it becomes mandatory to wear one indoors in any public space - so - shops, malls, hairdresser, etc. etc. so most of us just wear one all the time - it's just easier and many of these places have been requiring them anyway but it just makes it consistent now that the city has stepped in.
    I had my haircut today - first customer of the day with only one other customer in at the same time - washed my hair at home - wear a mask - get my temperature taken and sign a liability waiver - but it was worth it! Four inches cut off and bangs back into proper order! We have finally learned to appreciate the small things!
    I hope that the baby arrives soon and that everyone will be safe - prayers will be added.
    Thank you for all you do.

    1. Dear Margie,
      The challenge is really a fun way to add extra to the pantry! I think public transport is such a big risk place even normally for the regular flu I think I would be tempted to wear a mask.
      You must feel nice now you got your hair done! 4 inches is a lot!! Thank you so much Margie I will let everyone know asap re the baby. With love

  4. Annabel I have been waiting for your post this week. I guess I was looking for confirmation of what I had been sensing. I wasn't surprised to read that others are being made aware that we are living in a 'Calm before the storm," time. Since back in 2015 I have been saying occasionally to my husband and to a few close friends that I believed we were entering a period like the 1930's. So the Prime Ministers message was no surprise, yet it was still unsettling. No one wants to live through a period like that. Watching the news in the last 24 hours I keep recalling the quote "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
    I think it will be more pressing for us than ever to extend a helping hand to the poor and open our arms to the needy, as the woman of Proverbs 31 did. (Prov 31:20)

    1. Dear Sherri, This is funny kind of as I had to decide if I would share this. I thought it could be controversial. But I decided to be just honest with what I think and my experience. I am glad it helped in some way. Yes I agree... along with everything else this is a time we need to be nice, helpful, generous and do what we can, at home and wider. We also need to resist the things we know are wrong! Gods Word does not change and we have our instructions. I am happy to know this as they are now calling evil good and good evil! With much love,

  5. Dear Annabel, this post is so in line with my own thinking just now! We watched the Prime Minister make that announcement and have had some very serious discussions since. I was half way through my own blog post on this topic when yours came up in my FB feed. I couldn't agree more. The world is just unstable now, and nobody knows how much moreso it may become. We have a grand plan, and will now be working hard to enact that. Homemaking and homesteading skills are the basis of this, but we will be adding some serious First Aid skills, some books on identifying edible foods in the wild and practicing some camping and survival skills. This might seem over the top. But we'd rather have the peace of knowing what to do, than be faced with needing the skills, and not having them. Knowledge is Power. Always. Great post. All the best for a safe arrival for Lucy and Katos new baby. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Seems we sure both noticed what was being said. I feel there was a lot in the message of the PM and the words were carefully chosen. We are lucky to have had Grandparents who went through some serious hard times so we are at least aware it happened and know it could happen again. Some younger ones seem unaware of history and unaware that life can change. Skills as you say are just vital. So is willingness. It is a funny thing but it seems impossible to learn something you dont want to and easy to learn something that we are interested in or suddenly need to know! Thank you re the wishes for the baby arrival. With love

  6. Dear Annabel, Thank you for this most thoughtful post. I have been wondering how things are in your part of the world as we don't hear much of the other countries in the news. I also believe that it's more than likely going to get worse in the future. I'm always looking around to see what I have on hand and what I can add to my pantry.
    Your scones and rice pudding look very yummy! Praying for Lucy and the new baby that the hospital will be covid free. God Bless.

    1. Thank you Laurie. It is really interesting to hear what is happening elsewhere. Many times this has tipped me off in a helpful way as the US and Canada are usually ahead of what happens here and we tend to follow. In this way I was ahead and prepared with flour, rice, toilet paper and yeast! Thank you for the prayers also. With love

  7. Annabelle--Interesting message today! I happened to email a friend who is still quarantining a lot because of an auto-immune disease. I have been trying to stock up as much as possible because I expect winter to be bad. She said they are also doing this. I promised her potatoes when we harvest our gardens in the fall and she seemed grateful. My biggest stockup will be to try to buy canned chicken, which has been in short supply. We are well stocked but I am hoping to add more canned fruits and vegetables. Also looking for barley, the long cooking form for soups this winter. Ironically, the town where we previously lived had a mill that sold grains that were grown organically. I bought 100 pounds of barley for the food shelf each year.
    Alaska had been blessed with only a few covid cases, but the numbers are really increasing. I would so love to visit Anchorage since we are not traveling anywhere this summer. Stocking up is easier there but their cases are way up too. Fortunately I've been cooking for a long time and know how to make something out of nothing.
    So far, we are so blessed in Alaska. There were only a couple of days in the start of summer when we had smoke from forest fires and that was a short time each day. Our houses do not have a/c, so truly hot weather is difficult. We have had more rain than usual and the gardens appear to be enjoying it. We have been enjoying garden radishes and a waiting for more vegetables.
    Thanks for maintaining this blog! It is a good time to do anything we can to prepare for winter! Prayers for a safe delivery of a new grandbaby! Alaska Gram

    1. My daughter spends summers working in Cooper Landing, AK. I have yet to be able to visit but I can tell you I don't think I would mind living there, and get away from this Houston city life!

    2. Dear Alaska Gram,
      It sounds like we are on the same track. I cant imagine Alaska ever getting hot. We just think of the cold! It is so good your garden is doing well and you have veggies to harvest soon. Thank you for your baby wishes also! With love

  8. Annabel, I hope the gentleman you met at the post office is wrong...but I worry that he is right. My parents and inlaws were young adults during the Depression, and I heard all the stories...which were pretty grim.
    My pantry and freezer took a big hit during the lockdown and I'm not seeing many grocery deals to stock up again. I'm torn between buying now at full price or waiting a few months and possibly spending even more.

    I am 74 years old and thought my canning and preserving days were mostly behind me. But last summer, I felt compelled to make freezer jam and can cherries, peaches, green beans and tomatoes. Now I know why! This year I will be canning/freezing whatever I can grow or get on the cheap. This will mean watching classified ads closely. The farmer's market here is a nice way to spend a Saturday morning, but the prices are too high.

    I have a small garden. My dwarf fruit trees aren't bearing yet, but I might get a light crop next year. This year I'm growing and harvesting strawberries, tomatoes, green beans and a few beets. We will be eating beet greens for dinner tomorrow night.

    I've bought a half or quarter of a beef several times, but I prefer to choose my own meat and buy the cuts I want. I don't think buying in bulk is a great saving vs. buying what is on special each week. However, I'm going to check with a local place where I've bought before, and I will probably place an order...if only to support a local business.

    This was actually a pretty good week for me--
    * I picked the first strawberries last week...maybe a pound and a half? (Should have weighed them). They all got eaten out of hand. I have a baby play yard and I put it up to keep the boy dog out of the berries. More will ripen over the next couple of weeks (they are all June bearers, but June was late this year!).
    * I picked another 2-1/2 lbs. of strawberries yesterday. This is my first year with this variety, so I don't know how red they have to get to be considered ripe. (I left a lot of pink ones for the next picking). All of the berries I picked were fully red/pink and none of the tips were white.
    * I made my mom's recipe for glazed strawberry pie. My mother wasn't a very good cook (she cooked everything to death and only used salt and pepper). This is the only recipe of hers I ever asked for!
    * We were given about 10 lbs. of free potatoes at a fruit stand we visited.
    * I bought boneless skinless (BLSL) chicken breasts for $1.49 lb. that I partially froze and sliced into smaller, thinner portions. This works out to be about the same as getting them with bone and skin for .99 lb., but a whole lot easier.
    * I made a table runner with fabric I bought 15 years ago. Turned into a lot of work because I lined it and bound the edges. It's not perfect, but I covered up the mistake! I also made 10 cloth napkins from the same fabric as the binding.
    * My husband inherited a fractional share of some oil and gas leases in Colorado. It's a good thing I didn't marry him for his money--he and the 400 or so other heirs just got royalty checks of .02 for the entire last quarter! Yep--two cents! (We might frame the check).
    *I re-stitched about two inches of elastic to a pair of my husband's undies. Poor man...heir to a fortune in oil and gas and he wears mended underwear, LOL. BTW, $100 or so in royalties is a good year!
    * I ordered $40 worth of over the counter drugstore products for my daughter at no additional cost through her health insurance. This is a quarterly benefit and I claimed it on the very last day of the quarter!  

    * I searched for unclaimed property (money) through the state database. Didn't find anything in my name, but two for my adult son! Now to see if they really are his--there is at least one other guy in this area with the same name.

    1. Dear Maxine, It is good to know our history, lessons learned are so valuable. I am feeling to stock up as much as possible with the best deals possible but with the thought that prices might get worse and shortages might get worse. You may be able to trade too and yes put up all you can from the garden.
      I am amazed at your story of the two cent cheque. The stamp to post it was more than that! That is awful!
      We would say play pen... putting that around your plants was a great idea!
      Well done on claiming that medical money and stocking up. I bet a lot of people waste it and miss it by a day or whatever!
      You had a really good week and many opportunities to put some food away. This is so good! Your sewing is extremely handy too! With love,

  9. Dear Annabel, it is a horribley bad time.
    You are definitely doing the right things for you and your family.
    Both sets of my grandparents and both sets of my great grandparents. My father was about 7 when the Great Depression started and the eldest child My mother was born in the early 1930’s
    All of my grands and one lot of great grands were farmers and the all lived very simply do they all coped
    My mother never learnt a thing and was not at all careful with money all her life
    I will be stocking up a lot more for my children as they all don’t have well stocked pantries
    HiwI will help the four families that live intrastate I do not know except with quiet comments and other information
    One thing that we should all stock up on is cash, because if a depression comes and the banks suffer people more than likely not be able to access their money with their cards
    I am working on building up a years supply of money other than food to cover all costs eg electicitry, phone, internet, fuel, medical, vehicle expenses eg ins registrations repairs and maintain this will also include our tractor truck a motorbike, water pumps etc
    I will keep our Christmas club acc Unser and continue to save plus our other accounts
    I have some replacement pantry items that I need to replace as I have hardly been to town
    If and when the recession decends in a depression I will already have our plans in motion
    I don’t want to frighten and scare people but I would like to warn them so we can prepare
    However pray God it doesn’t happen we haven’t lost anything
    Love Lorraine xx

    1. Dear Lorraine, You would have heard many stories of the depression. My Nan told me some things. But I never really understood the way they lived until now. Now I get it!
      I watched when the banks in Greece closed and saw the quest of people allowed to get a small amount out if any. Money in the bank may be no use what so ever in this kind of crisis. We have seen that time and time again and even just with an electrical outage! It is scary. I really agree with you there. I think what you are doing is really wise. I now know of quite a few doing the same and for the same reasons.
      I dont want to scare people either. We just have to be watchful and smart. Having plans to set in motion is good. I realise that in a crisis and panic it is hard to think! Having a list to go to and put into action that is all pre thought out is a really good idea. Thanks Lorraine. With love

    2. Dear Lorraine,
      I hope you saw my message a couple of weeks ago that the package did arrive. Thank you so very much. Cookie

    3. Dear Cookie I had missed your post nas I have been ill with my asthma
      I went back and saw your post. I am so happy that it all has arrived and that you like it

  10. Dear Annabel
    Praying for the safe arrival of baby :)
    I have felt the same as you describe. I pray that we can all stay close to God in the times ahead.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Much love, Heidi xx

    1. Thanks so much Heidi. Thank you for the prayers! xxx

  11. Annabel, I am sure you are very prepared for what is to come...more so than a lot of other people. We live simply and frugally and always have but sadly that is not the way with a lot of people. I pray that your new grandchild will enter this world with no drama at all and will be a real blessing to your family.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Thanks. I think we are ok. It is the wider family that worries me with little kids. So I am doing what I can anyway. They will always have eggs! I will keep you posted on the baby! With love

  12. I live in Victoria, fortunately well away from the "hotspots", however DD is a retirement village manager in one of the lockdown suburbs, and is constantly explaining to residents how they will be affected. Rationing has already started again, though not affecting my stockpile.
    Hopefully DD can visit on Sunday as she has a couple of raised garden beds for me. Our garden is tiny, so the raised beds will increase the growing space as most of the garden is artificial turf. We do however have an extremely productive passionfruit(just finished producing), a dwarf lemon and mandarin, and rhubarb. Herbs are growing in pots, and we will have broad beans, peas, cauliflower, and cabbage if the rabbits and snails don't get to them first.
    Mimi, is also saying that we need to be aware of what is happening and improve our skills.

    1. Dear Meg, We are watching Victoria daily. Your passion fruit and dwarf trees sound lovely. The raised garden beds will be great. If we grow vines and grow things up i.e. train them upwards it is amazing what you can grow even in a small area. Having fresh herbs is beautiful too. I read Mimi's blog too. We are on the same track! This is kind of reaffirming. Have a good new week Meg. With love

    2. NSW and VIc are closing our border tomorrow Tues night So interesting times ahead

  13. Annabel you did so well with adding extras to your pantry and the new shelving unit is beautiful :). You are wise to add extra extension storage to your pantry by using other cupboards too.

    Your baking looks lovely and good you hired someone to help with the painting of the cottage. We have a spray painting unit and it makes the job so much quicker and have painted the inside and the outside of a home with it in no time. You just dilute the paint down by about 10% water so it is not too thick to go through the spray nozzle.

    I am glad you have brought up the subject of praying and listening to our feelings when we feel a sense of urgency or an uncomfortable feeling to do something straight away to act on it. I have learnt through past experience if I don't act when I get those strong feelings that things go pear shaped.

    Yes God does put other people in our path to guide and help us or for us to help them sometimes too :). Networking also with like minded friends is also a good way to know what is going on in the world, share knowledge and run ideas past one another too.

    I too had a strong sense of urgency to move to the country and buy our home and we did it within a few months of each other. Also in December January I had a strong feeling and sense of urgency to stock up our pantry further too which we did and still have an uneasy feeling now too to stock up more which we are doing bit by bit as well.

    My current feeling is that yes most likely we are heading for a depression. As you say listening to the media is not a reliable source of information and we need to be watchful and look for signs ourselves and act on answers and feelings we get.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $262.23 in savings last week :).

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Cut up our 2 capsicums picked from the gardens and packed them in two meal sized portions for the freezer for more meal ingredients.
    - Sliced our whole rump up and bagged into meal sized portions in the freezer.

    Home organisation -
    - Dated, rotated and packed our big top up order of groceries we purchased to replace items that we used in our pantry during previous purchase restriction times into the walk in pantry room.
    - Did a walk in pantry room stocktake and reorganise of items into dates with oldest grocery items on top and newest items to the bottom and furthest away from the door in cartons.
    - I marked further grocery items we needed on our perpetual shopping list for the next time we go shopping next week.
    - I looked in the kitchen pantry and topped up items that we had used from the walk in food pantry room.

    Purchases -
    - Bought a 5.26 kg whole rump on special for $10 kg saving $63.12 over buying it in other local supermarkets.
    - Filled up 5 jerry cans of fuel we had used for $1.077 per litre saving $11.61 over prices elsewhere.

    Finances -
    - Paid an extra part payment off our home mortgage as I noticed that our variable home loan interest rate jumped up by .58% as of the 22nd of June. Heads up and note to NAB home loan customers check your variable interest rate in your transactions online.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 2 large capsicums from the gardens.
    - Spot sprayed for weeds in the lawns around the home.
    - Cut another 1.25 cubic metres of free firewood saving another $187.50 over buying it in.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, Thank you. It is a really good thing to mention... asking to others, seeing what they are thinking and doing. The other day my brother (who is a farmer) told me some things he is doing... and he said he knew of other farmers in the area doing the same. This was in regard to 12 months supplies and preps. I thought this is interesting to hear. Many people do these things very quietly and you would never know but because of what he told me now I realise farmers around here think the same...
      It is also incredible and assuring somehow to hear how many of us had the prompting. And strongly. We were all working along the same lines. I too learned to ignore promptings at my peril!
      Yesterday I did a bit top up shop too. Takes ages to put it all away! The shops were packed too. There was a long queue and I have never seen it this long before.
      Your pantry sounds like it is in great shape and being ahead on the mortgage and all the steps you have put into place are really adding up. I remember when you were saving weekly for your deposit. And now you are on your land with your home and all set up. We have come a really long way in less than two years!
      We have rain again and the tanks are almost full. Indoor day today! With love,

  14. Annabel just before I read this I had a mini meltdown, mostly over federal politics and our local council. It all seems unstoppable and the people we vote for and pay a huge salary and pension to are so corrupted by their own self interest. Our house is incredibly clean because anytime I’m really upset I clean. I also feel my husband and my generation are considered expendable, we’re the most vulnerable to this virus and money is more important, it’s mostly younger people not social distancing. I’ll restart tomorrow but nothing will be the same, I fell so let down by people. Take care Annabel Jo.

    1. Dear Jo, Well when worried I clean and cook. I need to be doing SOMETHING. So we are alike! We see this everywhere. One a smaller and larger scale. I understand your feelings. It is distressing. But not everyone is this way. I have seen and heard disgusting things (like how about the security guards sleeping with the quarantined people in the hotel!) and you have to wonder if there is any decency, any morality left. But there is. We dont have to lower our standards either. Hold true! I do think we need friendship and encouragement. Another thing I find good is having projects I love to be working on. I look forward to time in the sewing room, time in the evening to crochet. These little things. Many hugs with love

  15. Prayers for the baby and Mommy and Daddy.
    Great post - seems we have all been preaching the same thing. Now is the time to prepare. Yes the world has gone crazy and nothing seems right.
    It is scary - I am preparing and putting my faith in God in full gear.
    Have a blessed day.

    1. Dear Cheryl, Yes the whole armour of God is called for. Actually those are good verses to read. They are protection in all areas!
      Thank you for the prayers. I will keep you posted! With much love,

  16. Dear Annabel, your baking looks yummy,love the new wall racks for decorating bits I can just see your grandaughters delight in picking out the decorative bits they like .
    Another interesting blog post from you ,meeting that elderly man and the info he imparted ,and answering your prayers to some extent . More food for thought , Im struggling to find space for more stored items with DD and family staying ,and DGS 18 months into everything , I spend my time retying cupboards /doors umpteen times so he doesnt get into any more mischief than he already does , delightful happy boy that he is anyway as well as bright and determined.
    Prayers sent for Lucy and Kato's babys safe arrival. And for ucy to feel calm and safe during birth . Lots of love and hugs , Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Thank you! It is hard to find storage with extra people in the house for sure. At least you know they are all safe and sound under your roof. I will keep you posted on the new baby. It is a big week ahead.
      It is a full on stage when little ones are into everything and cupboards! Oh boy! I remember that! With much love

  17. Praying for Lucy and baby.

    I feel exactly the same about this being the calm before the storm. Or tip of the iceberg if you will. I've felt a strong urge to put all the funds we can get our hands on into the pantry, so that's exactly what I've been doing. As we all know by now I think, you ignore that still, small voice at your peril.

    1. Dear Allegra,
      It is amazing that so many of us feel the same thing. Yet normally we might not talk about it. I have always told a few close friends what I think and feel but it is a bit scary to come out with it in a blog post. And now others are saying exactly the same. It is very re affirming. Thank you for saying how you feel on this and what you are doing. And yes... I have had times in the past I have overlooked the nagging feeling and oh wow that ended badly! So lesson learned there! Thanks so much! With love,

  18. Good morning from Texas! I'm over here feathering my nest as much as possible. I keep rearranging to find space for "stocking-up" items. Annabel, I love your cake decorating shelves! Harper and Scarlet are going to love that. I was out of town for a few days but managed to do some canning before my trip: beef stew meat, beef roast, navy beans and some tomatoes from the garden. I dehydrated the tomato peels to powder for soups, etc. I found a nice sack of bell peppers and onions at the grocery so I'm chopping those and freezing in packets for later use (a tip from my granddaughter no less). This is the granddaughter I stayed with on my trip and I was so happy to see the progress they are making on their place: chickens, pigs, ducks - all in nicely built pens plus a garden! And she wants me to teach her to can :D. We stopped at an estate sale and also a thrift store where I found a few things to sell plus 2 books: "Lasagne Gardening" and "Fix It and Forget It Best Slow-Cooker Recipes". Both were well worth the .25 cents and .50 cents I paid! I think it's very important to have hard copies of books. Lots of how-to books and ones with survival materials plus some good fiction. We have become so dependent on our computers it would be a bad thing if at some point we weren't able to just go online for information or entertainment. Anyway I was glad to find the peppers and onions as mine did not do well this year. I worked a bit outside and got the much-neglected asparagus bed cleaned up and watered.
    Lately with all the horrible things going on in our world I have found myself in a state of depression. I've decided to switch off all the negative stuff and turn my attention to our blessings and things I can do to be prepared for whatever comes. Annabel, you have been getting clear messages and yes, I think it's very likely the worst is yet to come! I appreciate your sharing the visit with the older gentleman. I would love to hear Mel's story.
    Today I am planting moringa tree seeds. Have you read up on that? It's like a miracle tree - super nutritious and all parts are edible.
    I am praying for Lucy and her baby. And prayers for all our Bluebirds. I know we are scattered across the globe but we all seem to be in the same boat! Stay safe everyone!

    1. Dear Pam, This is what I am doing! I just keep rearranging and it makes more space. I think powdering the tomato peels is amazing. Powdering things to add goodness to things is something I only learned about more recently. I think it is wonderful. Like a vitamin pill!
      I love slow cooker meals. There is so much you can do. I do baked custards and even breads.
      I would hate not being able to go online! I would have to do more actual reading and embroidery and other things but I would miss it so much. To have things in print though and written out etc is important. This is like people who trust their precious baby photos to "the cloud" as if it will always be there.
      I am working on finding the story I mentioned. It will bless you!
      I am sorry you have felt depressed but understand it. We are seeing the destruction of so many things. It is shocking and we are right to be horrified. We have to keep our minds on what we can do, family and good things. And there is much we can do to make a big difference! With love Annabelxxx

    2. Dear Annabel, I loved Mel's story about her grandmother and great grandmother. Such wise women! That story encourages us to share our knowledge with our daughters and granddaughters! I can see you doing that in almost every thing you post here :D. You are doing a tremendous job with your family and also with us Bluebirds and I thank you for that and for Mel's story! Can't wait to hear about the arrival of Lucy's baby. Love to you all.

  19. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, I love the new shelf! What a cute idea. I too have felt the urge to prepare and stock up. It feels like a bigger storm is coming; I actually hope that I am wrong! But it feels best to be prepared.

    This week I was able to add powdered milk, canned fruit, yeast! (this has been in short supply), frozen veggies, sugar, and some personal care items and nitrile gloves to our pantries. Over the weekend we transplanted roma tomato seedlings and cucumbers into the main raised beds, and they seem to be doing well! I also planted some Mexican sunflower seeds and they are starting to germinate right next to what my husband calls "zinnia metropolis", He did all the digging for me, sweet man. He set up a different sprinkler that hits the beds more fully, so our plants can cope better with the hot weather. This week we harvested more berries and have zucchini and peas coming along (we had such a cold start to spring, they are just getting ripe now). We also scraped and painted some of the trim on our house, and my husband spoke to our farmer friend and we are set to pick up a half steer after butchering in September.

    We continue to be permitted to work from home, which is a great gift, as here in the southern US most businesses are making everyone come back to the physical workplace. I've cooked all of our meals from scratch and baked bread, oatmeal cookies, and pumpkin bread, and have tidied closets that were not well organized so that we can easily see what we have and what might need replenished. I also made some lavender sachets to put in with my knitted things to discourage moths - I love the smell of lavender anyway!

    Our town still has many items available, but people are not being smart about taking precaution and our cases have been increasing tremendously every day this week. It is sad and a little scary, too. Honestly I cope with the stress by knitting or stitching, it helps!

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

  20. I am one who is usually so good-natured and cheerful, but this mess we are living in has even gotten me down and somewhat fearful. I am praying praying praying that this virus burns out and we can get back to work and to living. My husband commented on how much food is in the pantry, and I told him we don't know what's going to happen, and I want to be prepared and "better too much than not enough". I don't have as much as I probably should, but I'm trying to build up and rotate what I have so that nothing goes bad before I can use it. I feel for those who don't know how to cook or sew (even simple stitch) or do many basic things.
    Thank you for your words of wisdom and examples - reading your blog does my heart good :)

    1. Thank you Kathy! Keeping busy on good things and I think the garden, cooking, sewing, anything is good for us. If we sat and worried it would be bad so what you are doing, putting things into action, is really good. And we can do a lot that makes a huge difference to our whole family! So be encouraged! With love,

  21. I'd thought I might stop shopping monthly and go back to a weekly format just in order to take advantage of the few sales and full shelves in certain items instead of doing a once a month shop. Mostly I am feeling a strong urge to get seeds gathered and prepare for canning and preserving at present, but it all takes money I haven't really got. However, I am watching and plan to go into thrift shops and such to see what becomes available. I confess that the idea of cash on hand isn't a bad one either. At one point when this started a couple of stores ONLY took cash.

    It is a good idea to think of and get as much as we can in medical/first aid supplies, paper products and toiletries as well as foodstuffs. And Mimi's idea of learning now how to forage for food and manage without is a very sound idea as well. I am not yet seeing signs we here in the states (not in the rural areas where we live) are going into a depression but a friend in Cincinatti mentioned many stores closed and many many spaces now have for rent signs in them. I am encouraging my family to stock up and get freezers etc. For myself, I want to get chickens and am urging my husband to get a deer license this year and hunt for meat.

    1. Hi, Terri! I don't know what part of the country you are in but I think most areas have dollar stores. I've found that at the end of summer or early fall a lot of the dollar stores put big discounts on their seeds. I've bought packs of seeds for as little as .08 cents per pack! They don't have as many seeds per pack as some of the name brand seeds but I've found the quality and germination to be comparable. I think you are wise to start a garden and there are so many how-to's on youtube. Someone here mentioned Roots and Refuge Farm and yes, that is a good one for garden info. Good luck and have a great week! Pam

    2. If you buy seeds at the dollar store, check the package to see if it mentions country of origin. I don't know about their seeds, but 99.9% of Dollar Tree merchandise seems to come from China. I only want to plant seeds that originate in my own country.

      I'm not shopping much either at DT or Harbor Freight, because nearly all their merchandise comes from China. I understand that some types of merchandise are only made in China. But I want to buy products made in my own country, if possible. I am paying more for products made in the USA (and friendly countries) BUT I must be buying less, because overall I am spending less. And I don't seem to be lacking anything, either. Most of us buy a lot of stuff we don't need, especially if it is cheap.

      I feel I should explain. I'm not exactly punishing China for the corona virus, but I'm not going to help them feather their nests, either. I understand the global economy. But, whenever possible, I think it is very important for all of us to support our local economies, both in manufacturing and distribution. My priorities are Made in USA, locally-owned store, chain store with local employees, internet purchase.

    3. I share your feelings about China and that we should try and buy locally and in our country when that is possible. You know I never thought to check the origin on those seeds I got at the dollar store. Probably because the brand name was American Seed Company! I will be sure and check that out. However, if all I could get was those cheaper seeds, that's what I would be planting!

  22. Dear Annabel, I am really impressed how god answered your prayers. Would you like to share some of the answers the old man gave to you? I am sure you do everything you can to be prepared. Thank you for all the inspirations on your blog. Xxx Heike

    1. Dear Heike, I only had ten minutes with him. He told me his parents had a farm on the Adelaide plains... where my own Grandmother grew up. This is a pretty dry area. A man turned up there wanting food and his Dad gave that man a job and he was paid in food and lodging for years. He turned up, like a lot of people did, just hoping to find food. The man said "there will be no food you know" then added this about the man who worked for food. So there was food on the farms but not much in the cities. But back then cities were small and had yards! They still could grow some stuff. He said the people now they have no hope they have no garden and dont know where food comes from! I told him I was getting more chickens on the weekend and he said good idea! I now wish I had more time to talk and more questions to ask! But it was confirmation for me and I figure this was the message I needed to hear so I am grateful! With much love

    2. Thank you for taking time to reply dear Annabel. Yes I understand that you are very thankful for the message and confirmation. I am very glad that god sent you this man. With lots of love. You are doing so much. Yours Heike

  23. I stocked up on rice, flours, and pasta this week, as these are things I have not been able to buy multiples of for some time. I am slowly adding to my canned food shelf as well. We only have a small freezer at the bottom of our refrigerator, so I can’t stock up or add to that much beyond a few weeks’ worth of food. Praying for your dear daughter and son in law, praying for a safe delivery in a Covid free hospital.

    1. I have been doing the same. We could only buy two of this and one of that... so some of my stocks went down. I am trying to get them back up incase of a repeat. The toilet paper is limited again so I hope it doesnt begin to apply to everything. Thank you so much for your prayers. With love

  24. Been praying for Lucy and will continue. Blossom is due in December...praying things aren't worse by then. Holding fast to the Lord and listening as He leads us. Praise God we can trust His ways. :-)

    1. Dear Jenny, It is wonderful you also have a Grandbaby on the way. Blossom has the most beautiful children. They are just gorgeous. So lovely to have another on the way. Thank you very much for your prayers they are really appreciated. With much love,

  25. Annabel,
    I do believe that gentleman was put in your path for a reason. The answers to our prayers don't always come as we expect them. I too am feeling the same and going about it to continue with preparing as best I can. My opinion is it is going to get worse before it gets better and if we can prepare ourselves as best we can to stay away from the masses we are going to be much better off. We need to take advantage of all opportunities we have now to do what we can. I don't think a depression today will be peaceful or safe.
    I have been making more room on the shelves and rehoming things to create better storage. We have added to our seed stash and I'll be harvesting the seeds from some of the things we planted as well. Due to circumstances I have a two year plan in case I may not get to plant a garden next year.
    I added to the composter with kitchen scraps this week and cut up all of the veggies that need used so they are ready to add to this or that.
    We saved $12 on bread at the bread outlet and a quick stop at another store to look for Velcro for the garden and Rick found a brand new tiller they had sitting there that was missing parts. He made them an offer and they said yes! That was over $200 in savings and he has the parts here to complete it. It never hurts to ask and offer cash. We save a lot this way.
    I mended some pajama bottoms for Todd.
    Hung lots of laundry on the line.
    Picked a small container of strawberries from our strawberry bed.
    Saved about 30 feet of brown paper that came in a package to use for winter fire starting and a small gift I'm working on.
    Sent out 3 rebates that will total $21
    Sold 3 dozen eggs for $6
    picked some mulberries before the birds got them all to add to cobbler.
    picked some wild edibles for the lizard saving the cost of spinach for him this week.
    I can't wait to see your cottage. I'm glad you are getting helpers and I'm sure they are telling others what a good hostess you are bringing them good food! Also prayers for Lucy and the little one that she has a safe delivery and a covid free environment.

    1. Dear Vicky, Wow what a week. Thirty feet of brown paper! I love brown paper! Very good on the tiller too and Rick having the parts needed!
      We are doing the same thing with the pantry... moving re arranging and creating space. I am amazed how much space I keep finding. You had many good savings and they sure add up! I hope next week will be a good one! With much love,

  26. I have added Mel's story to the bottom of the

  27. Hello dearest Annabel, my Nana now passed sadly during the virus as well, we could only have five at the funeral but she would probably have laughed at that !
    Nana taught me how to make the best of any situation. When I can I fix things instead of new, make my own, use it up, or get a bargain. Now hand sanitizer is back at ALDI I have got some in case and same with hand wash. I hope and pray we don't have a second wave like VIC and all those poor people now back in isolation as authority demands. Many of those people are low income in social housing like myself.
    Being in a tiny unit I can't stock up on much but I do what I can. I know a woman in her 80's who makes fun of my habits. She throws out large amounts of food just because she's "sick of it". I quietly go about my ways not wasting anything as I know this is the wise thing. People may mock us but our ways are wise !!! People may think they can spend spend spend now shops are re opening but I remain viligent. I am not afraid , I know the LORD is in charge. Sending up prayers Lucy can give birth safely in a safe hospital and all goes smoothly. I hope it's a girl ! With much love, Sonia Mackellar

    1. You will be in a good position Sonia, if this gets worse. We are in NSW and we could have the same situation as Vic if we are not very careful. We are given wisdom to help us decide the best course of action. As you rightly say the Lord is in charge and we are not to fear, however He expects us to be vigilant.
      Blessings Gail

    2. Dear Sonia, What a beautiful comment and tribute to your Nana. You have the right attitude and empathy for people locked down in a small space too. That would be really hard. You keep being wise and I am still praying you will find the perfect job and location. With much love

    3. Sonia, I'm sorry to hear you lost your Nana. Prayers for you and your family. Sounds like you have a great attitude about everything. That 80 year old woman should have learned not to be so wasteful! I'm ashamed to admit when I was young and foolish I was that way :(.

  28. I cannot panic, or worry, all I can do is my best. I think I have several things going in my favour but my biggest downfall should anything truly catastrophic happen will be my prescription medication. I won't last that long without it and I can't stock up on it.
    Those little shelves are really nice and so useful. I'd have bought some of those too.
    My week has been rather frustrating with lots of little things going wrong, but I have-

    Been given a jar of plum jam by a work colleague I have seen very briefly, once! I was so thrilled and need to make her a little thank you card.
    Been given a cucumber plant, which given our awful weather (it's barely 10C and raining heavily) will have to live on my living room windowsill!
    Made a mandala/ dreamcatcher type thing for my bedroom window, which is very overlooked, it just gives me a tiny bit of privacy as it's quite big.
    Found an easier way to make yogurt after the vacuum flask I did use broke in the cupboard!
    Found a 60 litre stack and store box in perfect condition dumped by the roadside. This will be used somehow in my garden.
    Made 2 lots of soap! This despite having made a batch a couple of months ago, but I made all that small, travel sized bars and at home I like big chunky bars. The second batch was promptly by discovering just how filthy my clean looking tea towels were. I boiled them as they smelt a bit funny and the water was DISGUSTING, it took me 6 repeat buildings before I was satisfied. I now have zero faith in commercial washing powders, things might look clean but I don't believe they are. So I need to make a laundry detergent.

    Now, I have a question and I hope Annabel that you don't mind me asking it here, because I am sure that one of the ladies will have an answer. It's about bottle and jar labels and how to remove them, it used to be simple, put some hot water into the jar and if the label didn't peel off easily within a few minutes then a good soak in warm soapy water would. Now, it's virtually impossible, if you can manage to remove the label the glue is not going to shift, I have done some googling but most solutions want me to buy some product or other, which I don't want to do. So can anyone help, I would be most grateful.
    Have a good week everyone and try to remain positive.

    1. I use recycled jars all the time. Some labels are now plastic and peel off if you can get a corner lifted and you pull it back slowly. Other jars leave a gummy residue after washing/soaking in warm water. Try scraping with a butter knife to remove the last bits and if there's any gum left I use eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball as that dissolves the adhesives.

    2. Dear Su, Sometimes I get a stubborn label, which I hate! If soaking for a few hours in hot water isn't working I used a knife to scrape off what I can then a scourer. Eucalyptus oil is still my number one thing to remove sticky glue. I hope this helps.
      How nice of your work colleague! Well done on the lovely soap! This is a great skill to have too. Nan used to boil everything up. Everyone now is doing strip soaks and being horrified how dirty things are! Yikes! Boiling is a good way to remove germs and very effective. Our Nans knew what they were doing and their whites were white! What you did was very effective but also kind of a shock experiment! Interesting!
      Yes there is so much we can do. We have so much to be grateful for too! With love

    3. Hi Annabel, your post has tallied with my own thoughts at the moment and, from reading the comments, with a lot of other peoples' too. I am so glad to know that I am not alone!
      Regarding removing sticky labels, I also try soaking in detergent and hot water, along with a good scrub. If that doesn't work I find that any oil to hand will do the job - WD40, vegetable oil, olive oil, baby oil. They all seem to do the job wonderfully, but do require a good rinsing afterwards.
      Tracy X

  29. We are getting lots of maintenance jobs done on our home at the moment, using the money that we would have used for travelling this year. It will be money well spent I think. After reading your post, I had a thought that I should put my sewing machine in for a service too as it will be so useful in a crisis. Another job Ive been doing in recent months is rejuvenating garden beds with home made compost, manure, gypsum and blood and bone to hopefully increase veggie yields. I’ve also bought netting which has reaped benefits already as the possums and scrub turkeys have stopped decimating the veggies.

    1. Dear Maria, I think your sewing machine would be a great asset to have. Mending and making are a big help. I should give my machine a bit of tlc and some oil. I think you are doing good things. More veggies, protection for them and fertiliser are all good. We too have re focused and we stay pretty close to home. I now think it is more important to invest in things as you are and anyway I just wouldnt get on a plane now or anything as I have daughters to help and Granddaughters to be with as much as I can, which I know you understand. Thanks for the good comment Maria. With love

  30. Dear Annabel,
    The rice custard in the teacups is so charming. Simple food served elegantly makes it feel like a feast.

    I know from experience that answer to prayer and confirmation of what we may sense comes to us in many forms that we might least expect. A chance encounter with someone who has important information, to me, is not a coincidence. We have learned to pay close attention to that little nudge, or feeling in the gut, or just a sense of something that we need to pray and look for answers and then act.

    This week much got done in the way of adding to the pantry. In our neck of the woods there is no pasta, rice, dishwashing liquid, paper goods, etc. on the shelves. Even the gluten free pasta was sold out.
    So I turned to online ordering and was able to secure a case of gluten free shells, a gallon of dishwashing liquid which will be cut with water, 20 pounds of flour. We are moving things around to make more space for food storage. 20 pounds of blueberries got frozen as well as 2 pounds of cherries. More chard was harvested from the garden and frozen. I made a sort of pesto sauce using basil from the garden, fresh garlic and olive oil. Baked two pans of brownies and a dozen coconut cookies. The "recycled celery" has finally taken off and I believe I will get some heads of celery that have been propagated from the bottoms of purchased celery. The same with the onion bottoms. I pulled one up and there were. three large bulbs on the end of. It's so amazing to me that some foods can be regrown.
    I've been watching youtube videos on gardening and have learned many things I didn't know, like squash plants will give a better yield if they are pruned. Extreme heat can make squash plant pollen sterile and they won't produce.

    We are praying for Lucy and family and that the delivery is easy, and in a safe hospital. My daughter is due at the end of the month and will have a scheduled C section. It is our prayer that she and the baby will be safe as well. Stay safe, Stay healthy. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Thank you! I think even a cup of tea itself is so much nicer in a pretty cup. So it does apply to all things... I remember Mum used to often serve our meals in individual ramekins. Each was black on the outside but had a different pastel colour inside. Well they seemed so special!
      I know the old man was no coincidence especially considering my prayers the night before. But how unbelievable! I am thankful. I cant say I asked for answers and never got them!
      I am glad you had success online! It is interesting to hear what is sold out there. The blueberries and cherries sound so wonderful to me!
      Thank you so much for your prayers. I am praying also for M and her baby. I am believing all will be well and fine there! With much love,

  31. Thank you for exhorting us about preparing for the future. For the first time in our marriage (over 30 years), we found this past month that we have enough money to begin actually saving. My husband and I agree that part of this saving needs to be building our pantry. I need to figure out what would be best for us to stock up on. Our nutritional needs are different because of some health problems from eating a high carb diet (cheap food) for years.

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. Dear Laura,
      It is great you are in this better position now. I would say health comes first and good nutrition and then your pantry. You can do both. I do not eat any wheat at all and this helps me keep my carbs lower. There is lots of good low carb things still to store as obviously I dont store wheat! I think you are wise to be building up the pantry too! With love

  32. Annabel,
    Another wonderful post, full of helpful information, and the lovely look into your life on the farm. I think you are a very intuitive person who listens to what her gut is telling her. This is serving you well in your preparations and keeping your family safe, healthy and happy. It's easy I think to lose trust in what we can believe and feel is right to do, in the face of others disbelief. Well they have the right to their own thoughts and views but it doesn't mean we have to share them.
    This is always a happy place to visit and I love reading from everyone around the world and the wonderful way you bring us all together.
    Stay happy, healthy and safe fellow bluebirds. See you all next week.


    1. Dear Mandy, Thanks. Others disbelief and also possibly disapproval! It really interests me that someone can have 500 pairs of shoes and everyone is fine with that but a pantry full of food! Oh you must be a hoarder! mmm Interesting!
      I love out community too. Many of us are so far apart geographically yet so similar in our ways and thinking! Have a good new week! With love

  33. Dear Annabel,
    It is always so good to read your blog and the comments! Thank you for your encouragement to pray and listen, too.

    This has been a good week of adding to our pantry. Like you, I have been doing some rearranging and finding space to add more. I did a pick-up order both Tuesday and Wednesday to take advantage of two sale ads and the monthly senior discount days as well as some online coupons. The first day, it was somewhat crowded, but the next day, it was so crowded that I had to wait until someone received her order so I could park and get mine. There was someone waiting for my spot when I left, too. Arizona is a hot spot now, not only in terms of weather, but with Covid cases. I'm wondering if people are taking more advantage of the pick-up in order to stay out of the stores. I know i am. I was able to get 2 containers of sanitizing wipes and two jugs of bleach. The lady who brought my order out told me I was a lucky duck to get the wipes because they are like gold!9

    My friend/neighbor brought over a real bounty of things from the food box distribution she went to. She really is making hay while the sun shines! I doubt the food pantries will continue having such an abundance of food and actually asking people to take more. Since her husband is a musician, they may be in for a long time with no work. Quite a few of his jobs were in Europe or other areas outside the US, too. I was grateful to accept what she couldn't use before it spoiled or didn't need or want. I was also able to share a big box with another neighbor who will also pass on anything she won't use. There was an abundance of milk which really helped with making soft foods for my daughter who had dental work done. I also froze some of the milk in 2 cup portions for later. Some of the other items were a lot of canned goods, bags of potatoes, pasta, dry cereal, bread and a package of cheese slices. I thought I had a lot of pasta already, but after inventorying it more carefully, I found that I have a lot of spaghetti noodles and not much variety. I also realized that some of my canned goods were not as well-stocked as I would need, so the things we were given helped fill in some holes.

    I will be praying for Lucy and family, including you, and hoping all goes well.

    Love from Arizona,

  34. Thank you for this post Annabel! Like you and the Bluebirds, we also feel things are going to get worse. "The calm before the storm" sums it up perfectly. My husband has told me to keep shopping and building up our pantry as come August/September it is going to be very bad. I think this all has just been a test and the main event has yet to come so we all must keep preparing. We have a friend who is a lady in her 70's and she has voiced this also and has groceries stockpiled.

    The young adults in the house are used to us having food stored in every free space available and saw how beneficial this was during the food shortages. Mr 18 and his girlfriend however, think we are a bit over the top! Her family shop almost everyday and wouldnt even have a weeks worth of groceries on hand.
    Our flights to Indonesia for next month have finally been cancelled. We have been waiting for this to happen as now we can apply for a refund. I put half of our holiday savings on to the mortgage, we will not be going overseas anytime soon! I am thinking about getting a bigger fridge and freezer as well. I think this would be a good investment. I am thinking of you and your family xx

    1. Dear Mel, Very interesting to me what your husband is saying. Thank you for sharing that. I am glad you got the refund. And the mortgage is a good place to put some. Freezers are very hard to get so grab one if you can. A bigger fridge is also great. I had to increase here on the farm and am glad I did. I do agree these things can be seen as an investment. I am thinking very much on good investments. Thank you Mel! With love

  35. Dear Annabel,
    This is my third attempt to comment. I'm not going to repeat it all but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate you and your blog very much and find it a source of encouragement, wisdom and joy. I'm making hay while the sun shines. Praying for the best, but preparing for the worst. Love from Arizona, a Covid hotspot, Elaine

    1. Dear Elaine, Thank you for persisting! I got this one! Thank you so much. I think this is a good way... make hay while the sun shines and be ready if it doenst! I am sorry to hear Arizona is a hot spot. Please take every care Elaine. With love

  36. Dear Annabel,
    I have been praying for Lucy and family for a safe new arrival. Thankyou so much for this post. I live in country Victoria and watching our capital Melbourne's news daily with cases now out of control. My 80 year old father had a major heart operation in a hospital in Melbourne last month and is not quite strong enough to come home. He ended up in ICU for 6 days instead of 2. With the Covid situation only my Mum and one other sibling have been able to visit him once a day for a short time. It has been so hard. We pray we can get him home soon. I had an idea yesterday that I want to share with all the Bluebirds. I have been feeling overwhelmed, I often have too many things swirling in my head and start to berate myself about lack of preparation - worrying and confusing myself. Well my idea is this: I am writing a list of all things that I like to "live" with or are essential to life in my house and then I am going to print out information about alternatives - even if I never use the alternative. For example: I like to have tissues in the house. I have collected a couple of handkerchiefs and have decided to add a couple more. I am going to print out how to sterile them and I will put this in my PREPARATION folder. Best case scenario - I don't use them. Worst case, they are there, I can and I know how to wash them. Another example is sanitary items. I have a little stockpile plus have purchased a few of the modern sanitary underwear for myself and my daughter. But I will also print the patterns to make sanitary pads and make sure I have the right kind of material. Best case scenario for me - I don't have to make them up, Worst case I have pattern and material ready to go. Lighting: I have an old fashioned Kerosene lamp and have wicks and Kerosene. Best Case: I use for fun. Worst Case: I need to use it. I will buy all the people in my house a new set of socks and underwear. I will put these away. Best case scenario they are a normal Christmas gift. I like a certain kind of dog food for my little dogs. Again I have a little stock pile. But I will print out homemade dog food recipes in case I need to make their food. Do you understand my idea - it is helping get the swirling out of my head and making me feel calmer. I am printing any resources I need so if for some reason the internet goes down I have every thing I need. All the extreme (to my mind) preparations that I have not quite got my head around to implement as I am hoping it won't get that bad - well even if I haven't implemented them yet I will still be half way prepared and at least my folder will be there for future reference if not needed this time. Its a planning to plan file. Half way if you will. It's a simple idea, sometimes I'm a bit slow off the mark and most of you have probably been prepared for ages but I thought I'd share in case it helps someone. (I know none of this is NEW and Annabel you have been saying it all for a long time - it just takes me a while to assimilate it into my life and find a way for myself). In the last little while I have frozen on some points -having trouble deciding whether or not to do a certain thing - this way I am thinking through my whole house and not necessarily changing the way we are living day to day as yet until I NEED to. I also plan to plant more flowers in my garden to make me happy. I have started re-reading my Anne of Green Gables set - an easy, mind soothing thing to do. We don't have a lot of spare money and I have been conflicted between saving or buying some things and have concluded that right now purchasing a few needed items wins as I worry those things may not be available when I need them. Chins up everyone, keep going, I get inspiration and ideas from all of you. Love Clare P.S. is a great reference some of her ideas are so simple they are profound.

    1. Dear Clare, I really agree with you as writing things down and lists help me not feel overwhelmed. Having a plan A, B and C is so good. And finding alternatives is excellent!
      I love Anne of Green Gables. This is very lovely reading.
      I hope your Dad has been able to come home. That is so hard! When my Dad was in hospital it was hard enough without having to be kept away due
      to the virus. I really pray he is doing well. This would be a big worry for you. Your garden is a good way to prepare without spending much. If we grow too much of something it does give us the possibility of selling or trading some. If everything you buy is something that will be used then the money is never wasted. I hope you have lots of opportunities! With much love, Annabelxxxx

  37. My husband and I have been working on rebuilding our pantry after depleting it over these past few months. We are especially thinking about stocking up on things that were hard to get, like yeast and flour. Lots of people here (in Michigan US) seem to be ready to go back to normal, and forget all this. I do feel we may be in for some harder times though. Prayers for your new grand baby's safe birth.

    1. Dear Deborah, It is the same here. People understandably keen to get back to normal and also get their businesses etc up and running. It has all seemed a long time and been pretty hard... but now this happened the virus has taken off and it is looking like worse lock downs than before. Over the border from us it is looking bad. So I think you are wise. Use this time to get everything.. hopefully you wont need it. But if you do you will be so glad you got ready! With love

  38. Love your blog as always! Became creative this week with the Working Pantry Challenge and used Airpoints (since I won't be using them for flying anytime soon) & bought 12 LED power efficient lightbulbs for our pantry. They are quite expensive ordinarily so it was great they were free (& added bonus we have noticed power savings from the ones we have put in already). Keeping an eye out this week for other ways to rebuild my pantry creatively!

  39. I am so glad you shared with us. This confirms what I have been feeling also. This week I ordered a cord of wood even though it is in the 90’s now. I had our propane tank filled as well. We are taking our vacation check and using it to fill in the gaps, since there will be no vacation due to Covid. They are testing here like crazy so the numbers keep rising. Hospital deaths are down though. Today we are expecting the governor to close all restaurant down again. They closed all bars last week again. Two of our Mints have shut down. Coins are scare now. Every store has signs asking people to bring their change in.
    We don’t eat wheat in our house too. My son has Celiac and it is just easier for us to go wheat free also. I must say your GF bakery goods look very delicious. What flour do you use? I have given up on baking. I usually buy his bread at Costco, but it is expensive.
    I have stocked up on dish towels, underwear, socks any thing I think will be hard to get. I am looking into boots for my husband and son too.

    Praying your little grand baby has a safe arrival and they can come home quickly.

    Wishing you and the Bluebirds a safe and fruitful week.

  40. Thank you Annabel for sharing your thoughts with us and sharing about meeting the man at the post office. We can all benefit from your wisdom. I am finding it difficult to know exactly what to stock up on and so many things are already unavailable where I live. One thing that came to mind while reading everyone's comments was purchasing extra needles for my sewing machine and also for hand sewing if I can find them. I had not previously thought of those two items. I feel there is so much to do and so little time to do it. I am one of those that needs prescription drug to stay alive so I may not make it long but I want to live my family in the best possible position.

  41. Hi Annabel & Bluebirds

    I hope everything goes well for the safe arrival of Lucy & Kato's baby.

    First week of school holidays went well here. After a clean out of cupboards I found lots of crafts that DD10 had been gifted for birthday and Christmas so I put them in a box and she had to choose at least 1 to do each day. We have also painted rocks to write messages on.

    Your food as always looks so inviting and delicious.
    The pantry housing looks fantastic, so neat and tidy.

    Like everywhere I am sure but toilet paper here has once again become scarce. It has been interesting on reading what others have stocked up on as I have come across a few that I would not have thought of.

    I am avoiding major places where I can an just shopping local. We are lucky enough to have a shop that has all local handmade products in. I have been going in there once a week and buying a few items for my gift box and also getting ideas on making items.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx


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