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 30 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 31 July, 2020

Where do I even start?  So much can happen in a week.   The gist of it is this was my second week of quarantine and Dad was very sick and hospitalised.  So it was all bad enough and I couldn't go to see him.  On top of that he had never seen Sidney and I thought maybe now he never would.

So now we start layering the "on top of that's"...

On top of that things in our neighbouring state got much much worse and lockdowns and restrictions increased again.  My daughters family are border community. They literally live right on the border.  We cannot go to see them but they can get to their town for school, doctor and so on.   Dad ended up in the hospital in this bigger town but Lucy was not allowed to go to the hospital either.  

On top of that Dad signed himself out of hospital when he was no better and he was determined to go home.  :(

There were good things...  Mum got to see Lucy and the girls (on our side of the border) and, for the first time,  hold Sidney.

And Lucy was determined.... so when Mum went to pick up Dad Lucy drove her car to the hospital car park and parked near Mum's car.  When Dad came out he was greeted by Lucy, the girls and Sidney. He was just delighted and this was very special.  I am so grateful for these moments.  I got to see photos so I could see what a success it was.

I could keep saying "on top of that" but I think you get the idea.  Some mornings bad news came so thick and fast I felt like I was going to panic.   At this moment Dad is doing ok but Lucy and family are fairly well cut off.

I know our situation is nothing compared to what some families are going through.  I have seen finance figures come in, here and overseas, and the commentary is very grim, mostly comparing the numbers to the Great Depression and in some instances worse.

Most days I tried to keep things as normal as possible.   And to keep busy.   I would go nuts if I didn't.
I added lots to my raised garden beds.  They are getting close to full now but as the hay etc breaks down I will need to keep adding.

I made an impossible pie to use up some eggs and garden herbs.

Also a double batch of Miracle Cleaner.    I save spray pumps from commercial products and match them to glass bottles.   Then I make up my dilution for surface cleaning. 

If you make your own cleaners you eliminate a lot of things you have to buy.  You also never need to buy scented sprays etc (most of which are very unhealthy) as your home truly smells so clean and fresh.   

Our local Facebook Buy Swap and Sell is really quite good.  I found three very old and very shabby white wooden chairs.  To me they are beautiful.   $5 each!   I couldn't pick them up but the lady was lovely and she delivered them for me to somewhere I can pick them up next week.  So pleased!  I was needing two but three is better!

I tried to continue to sew each day.  Even a short time each day produces more than you think!  I finished up 12 bandana style bibs. 

I enjoyed these so much!   They have a velcro fastening. Very easy.

Now I have moved on to a bigger style feeding bib.  

I made a chocolate cake.  It was mostly sliced and frozen and gave us a nice afternoon tea.

I was given some nice big juicy lemons.

We are needing rain now but the paddocks have been looking green and everyone has grown! 

Some time ago I put in an order for two miniature goats.   This week I had the chance to pick two from photos.   This is the little girl...

We get them in about a month.   I am so excited!   Name suggestions are welcome! 

Each day I did some weeding and gardening.   One thing I did was moved things that clearly were not doing well where they were.   A couple of things I rescued and potted up instead.  I hope this works.   I took cuttings and pruned and repotted two huge Fiddle Leaf Figs that out grew the house but they are not happy at all outside.   Over the week this amounted to a lot! 

Then I pressure cleaned the whole deck and patio areas as they were a mess.  And did the windows.  
I slept well those nights which is a good thing!    

For my pantry...  this week I cleared out more cupboards that can be part of my pantry.  I have two days of quarantine left so then I can get out and do some stocking. 

So that was my week.   I hope things are ok in your area and your family are doing well.   Most of us have had to adapt in some way.  In light of this Vicky and I have a special post this weekend. 

How did you manage to build up your home and get ahead with your pantry or garden?   I hope you had opportunities come your way.   I am glad I had routine and loads to do.   I planned to use my lockdown to get ahead at home and I have done that.  So the two weeks have gone really fast!   I am really thankful for a garden, animals and wide open spaces we have here.    I am hoping to have a bit of a restful weekend and work on my crochet blanket.  I hope you have a good weekend



  1. Hi Annabel, just lost another comment! I hope the next week is a better one for you. I think we are all suffering from collective anxiety no matter where we live. It breaks my heart to see what is happening in Melbourne where my children and granddaughter live. When will I see them again as I can’t see their lockdown ending anytime soon. Meanwhile my sons’ weddings keep getting postponed. My husband is working away and I am unsure when he will be able to return.Talking with my friends we really miss that ability to plan ahead, to have something to look forward to. We concentrate on the minutiae of daily life to keep ourselves going which gets things done but doesn’t replace a hug by a family member. Stay well, hope your dad looks after himself. Barb

    1. Thank you so much Barb. Oh my goodness... I feel for you as things have NOT got better in Melbourne even since you commented. I feel upset by all I have seen on the news tonight. Barb hang in there. We will have to go one day at a time. I wrote my Granddaughters pretty letters. We can think of things to do according to their ages... and we have, still, the phone, the computer... face time. I feel a bit overwhelmed and you certainly must. My Dad is a bit better and came to see me! Thank you for persisting with your comment after losing one! with lots of love,

  2. Annabel I am so sorry you are cut off from Lucy and the children. That is so hard when you are used to seeing them often. Big hugs. Aren't men funny the way they sign themselves out of hospital? My husband did the same thing years ago. I do hope and pray you have a better week next week.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      Thank you. It must be a man thing. What can I say...
      I hope to see the girls and Sidney this week but the rules keep changing... so we will see. A bit of a shock tonight with the rule changes over the border... eek. We have to go along doing the best we can! With love

  3. If you put a bell on an animal, you can call it Tinkerbell! haha!


    1. I could have Peter Pan and Tinkerbell! Thank you

  4. Annabel, what a week you have had. I hope you have a restful weekend.x I concentrated on building up toiletries stocks this week, items on sale. Food cupboards & freezers are also well stocked so I feel well prepared. Further local lockdown have been put in place here with just a few hours notice which unnerved me but now I feel as prepared as I can be. I have also started a new Bible study about being calm in life's storms which is helping!
    I wish you well and thank you for writing.

    1. Dear Lynn, It sounds like a good Bible study and you sure will get to put it into practice!
      I am so glad you are well stocked up. Toiletry items are good to be ahead on... they are sort of comforting and the things that make us feel better, so important. I hope you have a good new week! With love

  5. Annabelle, what a week you have had! I hope your dad remains OK and steadily improves. It was lovely to see the photo of your mum holding Sidney.
    Our week here has been good and fairly productive though we are a bit concerned about the possibility of community transmission of the Coronavirus in Brisbane. Queensland's number of active cases is now back up to 10. However there are no cases the Wide Bay Region which is my regions and Jane's, and none in the Darling Downs region which is Chel's region, so that is something to be grateful for.

    1. Dear Sherri,
      Thank you. Dad came to see me today! He is doing better.
      Well in only two days since you wrote this things have been dramatic in Melbourne... I hope Brisbane will be ok. I hope your region stays covid free (and for Jane too!) There are so many people on the move this is the worry. With much love

  6. How I feel for you with a sick father and not being ale to be there. I hope your dad keeps on keeping on. I am so happy that you managed to take the new little to see him.

    I like many in the southern suburbs of Brisbane am annoyed that some people deliberately went to Melbourne to steal high end goods and then lied about where they had been. Now the virus is a few km from home and in the suburb where my girls work. My little two year old granddaughter had a this this week and I so grateful it is negative. Today I had a test. I hope it is negative because I just had some stuff fall out from under a crown. My dentistry woes are the stuff of legend.

    God bless and stay safe.

    1. Dear Suzan,
      Thank you. Dad is doing better... and he came to see me this afternoon. I am grateful.
      I saw about those "charming" girls. People have a right to be mad. I am so glad your Granddaughter is ok and hope your test comes back negative. Sorry about your dentist woes. My own personal scary nightmare! With much love

  7. Prayers and love for you all xx

  8. Not the best week for you! Why do bad things always seem to happen in multiples?

    Just last night, with 2.5 hours notice, our buffoon in charge has placed us under another, bizarre lockdown (I live in a covid hotspot, this is not national). So, we can't have visitors to our homes (I haven't anyway), meet people outside but can go to pubs and restaurants!!! It's hard work just keeping up with the ever changing rules.

    This week I have -

    Rearranged and better organized my little stockpile, including utilising a small wasted space under the stairs, for tins and jars. I wish I had somewhere where I could keep everything together, but instead have to keep things scattered about the house, in various places. Still, it works, so I can't complain really.

    Foraged raspberries, plums, blackberries and redcurrants. It's very early but if fruit is ripening, I'll pick it!

    Made raspberry and redcurrant jam, redcurrant jelly and pickled eggs and started a rumptoft.

    Did a big online grocery shop, allowing me to build up my stockpile somewhat.

    Made gloop from some soap ends and actually I prefer it to commercial washing up liquid.

    Not the busiest week but I can at least see some results.

    Take care and stay safe everyone, the world ou there is a mad place.

    Su (NW England)

    1. Hello Sue,
      I'm from Manchester, also in the north west of England and I know exactly how you feel. The rules make no sense. We can't have our son and daughter in law here to sit three good metres apart in our garden and yet we can go to pubs and restaurants. We both have underlying health condition. One day we were shielded, the next we could go anywhere we liked??? It's complete madness.
      We are trying very hard to ignore the madness, and to stay safe for as long as we can. I am so grateful that I have taken advice from this and other blogs and have rebuilt my stock cupboard over the past weeks, and that I have craft work to finish, an allotment to tend, jams and preserves to make and books to read. I found that keeping busy helped me through the last lockdown and am praying that it helps this time as well.
      Hope that everyone here is well, and continues to be so, sending my very best wishes to everyone.

    2. Hi Lesley! For my sins I live in Rochdale, so very close.

    3. Oh dear Su... you wrote this only two days ago.. and I agreed with you on the odd rules that make no sense. So my idea is that when things dont make sense they are either withholding information that would make it make sense. OR idiots are running the show... Things have continued to change here and dramatically and quickly! And many of the rules dont make much sense. Or be well thought through. I am so glad you have been working on your pantry and doing what you can. This is the best thing we can do as at least our energy is used for some good! With love,

  9. Dear Annabel, I am sorry to hear about your Dad. I will pray for him. I am also sorry to hear that Lucy's family have been cut off. That must be very hard.
    It is so good that you have used your quarantine time well- you always achieve so much. I am impressed with the beds and the stock taking. I feel like we need to store more. Your goat is so cute- can you use them for milking? I feel like I could have achieved more this week- but hopefully will achieve more on the weekend. I feel like we need to sit down and draw out a plan for the garden. The more we can grow, the better. Love to you all. Lily

    1. Thank you for praying Lily. Dad is doing much better and came to see me today! Thank you so much.
      A plan for your garden would be excellent. I need to do the same. Yes the more we can grow the better. Spring is coming we could feel it in the weather today! So now to get ready! With much love and best wishes for your new week.

  10. I am hoping your Dad is doing better. Prayers. I am so glad he got to see Sidney. Sounds like you have made the best of your time at home. Is this a self quarantine?
    I hope you have a lovely weekend.

    1. Dear Cheryl, Dad is doing better thank you! I had to self quarantine and have tests... because I crossed the border. It is ordered by the police. And police come to check on you too. I am so glad that has passed now! With love

  11. Hello Annabelle, we all have weeks like this from time to time and you think when is this all going to end. I really feel for you. In some ways I think your dear Dad is better off at home ( depending of course what is ailing him) because with things the way they are, he will not be in danger of catching this awful virus, at home with your Mum caring for him. Please know that I will pray for his health to return quickly.
    I hope your week ahead is much better for you. I am constantly inspired by all you achieve. We went to help a friend today who is recovering after an operation. We were gifted a pumpkin, some rosemary to dehydrate and some little violets to plant out. I have a crocheted rug that I take in the car when we go into town, which I work on while waiting for my husband at the hardware or as we travel along.
    Blessings Gail.

    1. Dear Gail,
      You have a point. Well Dad is home and he had the week of going to hospital for an hour a day and having an IV. So he is there for the minimum amount of time and it has been working, he is much better.
      I love working on crochet in the car so I love it when someone else drives!! This is when I get a lot done. I hope you do have a good new week. With love

  12. Annabel you have made so much progress in your cooking, organising, gardening and sewing during your isolation time and well done :) . I am glad you saw photos of the girls and Sidney and hope your Dad continues to get better over time and we will keep him in our prayers.

    Well it appears through the carelessness of 3 individuals we now have Covid cases in Queensland again in particular the Southern suburbs of Brisbane. They traveled from Melbourne to Sydney and then to Brisbane and lied on their border declaration forms.

    This is of particular concern as we will be traveling to that area in two weeks for an angiogram for DH at the same hospital that the girls who traveled from Melbourne are being isolated/treated with Covid. I don't think I have mentioned this but DH has been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and the neurosurgeon has just found a second one in the first scan results. This angiogram will be to see if there are any more aneurysms there before they operate in just over 3 months time.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $44.10 in savings last week.

    Service to others -
    - We last week deep cleaned the local RSL sub branch as volunteers.

    Earnings -
    - Earned $1500 from the sale of our 2 bottle trees in the back yard. They purchased them and removed them leaving us a nice couple of spots to plant our citrus trees in.

    Internet listings -
    - Listed 10 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Put in a monthly staples grocery order combining and using our RACQ Wish e-gift cards 5% off, weekly specials and $10 off Rewards $ saving $27.60 on usual prices.

    In the gardens -
    - Planted our potted Washington navel and Lisbon lemon fruit trees in the spot where the bottle trees were removed from in the yard. Hardly any hard digging as the soil was still so soft from where the bottle trees were removed from :).
    - With a grand total of $5.25 in parts we fixed a gutter downpipe rainwater pipe angle that was split and leaking water, repaired a split grey water hose with a joiner and put in a t-piece so we can now water 2 berry and fruit trees at the same time with water pumped from our grey water tank.

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

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone and hope that you can see the grandchildren in person sooner than you think Annabel.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      Thank you so much for praying. I really appreciate it and Dad is improving. I saw what happened on the news. It is just beyond belief and maddening. Lorna I didnt know about your husbands diagnosis. Now it is my turn to pray for you both. I know you can take very precaution when travelling. But now you have this added worry that you did not need.
      OM goodness on the trees!! That is amazing! I am imagining the trees took up a lot of room that you can use that well, as you say with citrus trees.
      Well done on fixing the gutter too. We dont want to lose any rainwater that is for sure. I hope your new week goes well. Your husband is on my prayer list now. With much love

  13. Hello Annabel and Bluebirds,

    It is good to hear that things are going as well as they can on your side of the globe, Annabel. Things are holding where we are right now, but we're under no illusions and know that it can turn in an instant. We have been waiting for our home to sell to complete the move to another state, and with all of the economic uncertainty and more, we're sure, to come, we are second-guessing our move and wondering if we should put the brakes on and rethink everything. Both of our (mine and DH) inclinations are to hunker down, order in supplies, and weather the storm from right here. A lot of praying and discussing is going on right now.

    Because of the impending move, what with having a large part of the house in storage, our frugal lifestyle is taking a hit. To counter that, we're leaving the house less than needed (some of our meals are getting creative!), I'm still cutting all of our hair, mine included, and I'm thinking about what I can make for Christmas presents once all of my things are out of storage. It's not a great savings, but I'm trying to keep the frugal mentality and improve upon it where I can in our situation.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Annabel. I trust news through blogs like yours far over anything I see on the "news" shows. Blogs like yours have become the truth shining a light in the darkness.

    May the good God bless you all for your diligence to Him and your families,
    Shani x

    1. Dear Shani,
      I see your dilemma I really do. Have you decided? There is a lot to consider. It is good you are seeing how important this is to re evaluate under the circumstances.
      You can save a lot by making your presents! I work on this all year. And the hair dressing savings would be quite a bit too.
      Thank you for your very kind comment. with love

  14. So I told my husband about your Dad checking himself out of the hospital and he said, "You go, Dad!". Oh these men! I am so sorry about all the bad stuff. I am happy that your Mum and Dad could see Sidney.

    Our grandchildren in Germany went to camp! Things have really gotten better there. We got pictures of them cooking, swimming, boating and climbing walls as well as flying on a zip line.

    We go home from two weeks away at the lake on Sunday. It's been wonderful and we hate to have to go home. But, there is a hurricane bearing down on the USA eastern coastline so it will be best to be home just in case.

    Have a good weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      Thanks Lana. Men! haha!
      I am glad things are ok for your family in Germany. It sounds like the camp was wonderful. Your time at the lake would have been good... I hope you did not suffer hurricane damage at home.. With love

  15. Dear Annabel, I chuckled when I read about your Dad checking himself out of the hospital. I pray he continues to improve. One of my dearest friends has a new granddaughter (her namesake) born July 7th in Canada. Since the border is closed and no end in sight (it keeps changing) she can't go visit. They of course do Facetime, but you can imagine how much she longs to hold that baby! Take good care Annabel, we'll all muddle through this together. Love and hugs, Shirley WA State USA

    1. Dear Shirley,
      Dad has done fairly well thank you! How lovely for your friend to have a namesake but very hard to not be able to visit. I hope she gets to hold the baby sometime soon. Thank you so much Shirley, with love

  16. Dear Annabel,
    I pray that your Dad is feeling much better. I'm so glad to hear that Lucy was able to let him see little Sidney. I'm also happy your Mum was able to hold Sidney.
    I can relate to your panic regarding the news. I feel I spoke too soon last week... we went from well under 1000 cases last Friday to 1140 as of today and sadly, another death. We've moved from the orange to red alert. I'm in the Eastern side of Midwest US and c
    certain things that had opened up shut down again (library, eat in restaurant (back to takeout) I'm not concerned about restaurants closing again because I only ate out with a friend maybe once or twice a year. I made a quick store run on Tuesday in case I can't go again for awhile, go some fresh things as well as canned salmon, tuna, beans, and other canned items.
    Your little goat is precious. Animals bring such comfort, especially in uncertain times. my dogs and kitties have always improved my life.
    Hoping tomatoes will be coming in the next couple of weeks as I got a later start this year. the cantaloupe and watermelon are 2 inches long. The herbs are doing well and will soon be ready for drying.
    the wild, black raspberries at the bottom of the yard are bearing. They are delicious. I enjoy seeing the projects you are working on. We do need to find things that bring us a measure of joy. I hope this week is better for you.
    Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura, Yes things can certainly change fast and go backwards and forwards...
      Dad is doing much better thank you.
      I agree about pets. They do us so much good.
      I hope you get great crops! They sound well on the way. I need to keep drying herbs. Often I have been so busy admiring how good they look that I leave them too long!
      Thanks so much, with love

  17. Annabelle, I'm sorry things piled up on you last week and I pray your dad gets well quickly and that everything is better for you this week! Sometimes everything goes wrong at once and I'm not sure why - maybe for us to wade through it all, try to learn some kind of lesson and come out of it stronger. No one is able to do that better than you!
    I continue to tend our gardens - lots of clean up and improving the soil by adding shredded leaves, chicken poo and egg shells. We are almost out of the mushroom compost so just using what we have on hand. I pruned tomato plants hoping to get a fall crop and still harvesting okra which will last a good while yet. Today I'm trying a different method of making okra pickles (refrigerated, not canned). We have several kinds of saved seeds to try and start (cherry, peach, nectarine, plum and apple) I haven't had any luck growing moringa trees but will keep trying as I have quite a few seeds. The lemon and orange trees I started from seeds are not making fruit yet but I use the leaves in lemon or orange water and tea, etc. I'm thinking I could use the leaves in soup the way the Orientals use lemon grass.
    In these uncertain times I feel it's important to stay up with our medical and dental issues. I bit the bullet this week and finished up with the dental work I've been putting off. The only good thing I can say about that is: IT'S OVER AND DONE! Someone else here mentioned their dental woes and I can tell her I feel her pain as I have been there!
    I have been thinking if worse comes to worst we should have alternate ways of cooking our food. My cook stove is electric and we have propane grills, barbeques, etc., but if those fuel sources are no longer available we could resort to cooking with wood (we have tons of that). We are planning an outdoor kitchen which would be covered and out of the wind so we could use it no matter what the weather is. We hope to start on it once we finish the new kitchen countertop and sink and a few house repairs. We are blessed with children and grand children who are always willing to help us and are very thankful for that! Actually, we have a group coming this week. Yay! My job will be to keep everyone fed. Piece of cake!
    Our grocery store and Walmart this week had several bare spots on their shelves. Prices on some things have gone up but thankfully we can afford to pay unless we want prime rib or grass-fed beef! I hope everyone continues to stock up, wherever you live. More than ever, it just makes sense. Wishing you all the best and have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Pam,
      I really need to try starting some lemons from seeds... this is a great idea.
      Alternative ways to cook are really important. I always think we need to be able to boil water. If you have wood supplies a little set up like a BBQ would be good with some outdoor cooking equipment. This could be really handy. Even a wood fire pizza oven type set up?
      Good job on the dental work. I bit the bullet and made my appointments thinking the same way you are... With much love,

  18. Annabel, I hope you and the other Bluebirds are having a good week. I hope your dad is better soon.

    I had my second shingles shot this week, and it has hurt a lot! If it keeps me from getting shingles, it will be worth it...but right now, I gotta wonder!

    These were my frugal accomplishments this week--
    I cut off and hemmed a pair of old, worn-out jeans to become a pair of old, worn-out shorts. I thought I was wasting my time until I realized there is a lot of stuff during the summer when a pair of old, worn-out shorts is just the ticket!

    I sent an online greeting card to my pen pal in England. I signed up for a free 7-day trial, so the card was free. (I've already canceled). We have been corresponding for over 63 years, although not regularly anymore.

    I dropped and cracked the screen on my $50 refurbished prepaid phone and replaced it with another refurb of the same model for only $20! I'm hoping that getting the same phone will make for an easier learning curve.

    I got my first picking of green beans. I am also picking yellow cherry tomatoes.

    I cooked a pound of dry black beans. This is the equivalent of 5 cans. I used one in a recipe and froze 4 containers for later.

    I got a set-in dirt stain out of an almost-new white top. I pre-treated with straight Dawn dishwashing liquid and washed in hot water with bleach. I was prepared to bleach it in sunlight, but all of the stain came out in the wash!

    I wanted to make some hanging dish towels for myself and for gifts. So far, I haven't found a free pattern that matches up with the materials I already have. (I don't plan to buy anything).

    Stocking up--I got 6 quarts of shelf stable milk with a use-by date that's still a year out. I wrote the date on the front of each carton with a Sharpie so I'll be reminded of when it needs using.

    1. I like your frugal ideas! I've been reading "American Frugal Housewife" which is a reprint of an old book (early 1800's) and my goodness, back then they wasted nothing! Of course some of the things they used (powders, herbs, etc.) I am not familiar with but it's still good to read. I think it is so neat that you have kept in touch with that pen pal! I had two from when I was young and I still think of them but lost their addresses long ago and can't remember their last names :(.

  19. So sorry to hear about your dad but praying that he will improve now that he's home. It was lovely that he was able to see the new baby but how frustrating for you all to be so near and yet so far. The Australian state rules are very strict!

    Toronto has just moved to stage 3 reopening as of today - we can now eat inside a restaurant, go to a gym or see a movie - all with certain restrictions in place. Neither I nor any of my friends will be doing any of these things for the foreseeable future. I went to the office for a few hours this morning and I saw that the gym next door had opened - it's very small but with windows on 2 sides so I was able to see 2 instructors wearing a mask and that was it and there was way too many people inside for any kind of social distancing. If they are still open when I go in next week I'll be reporting them for non-compliance - Idiots! On the other hand I must say that at least 95% of people on the subway were all wearing masks so that is a relief. We've been warned - if numbers flare - we will be shut down again with very little notice!

    I did some more tidying up in my pantry and I have bought myself a new label maker so I am looking forward to that arriving next week! A few other organizing things for the pantry are also on the way. I also finally found bread flour - it was the last bag on the shelf and the first I've seen since lockdown so I grabbed it! My local grocery store finally got bleach and paper towels back in stock so I added more of these as well. Top of my list now is laundry detergent - I have to use a particular brand due to severe allergies and it can be quite expensive so I stock up when it's on sale - but it has been a while! I still have 3 jugs but want to get at least another six months ahead.

    I hope that the coming week is a better one
    Oh and as for the goats - how about Gigi and Gidget! :-)

    1. Dear Margie,
      I think you are wise to hang back on the lesser rules... I used to work in a gym and now in light of the virus I can say I think a gym would be such a bad idea! Everyone touches equipment constantly. It is impossible to clean it between each person... plus people are puffing and panting and all close in... nope not a good idea. But they will be the fittest sick people !
      A label maker would be great! I am so glad you got the breadhflour! I hope you find the detergent on a half price sale. Mum uses a detergent for allergies and she stocks up this way also. Thank you for the name suggestions. My first dog ever was called Gidget! She was a tiny little dog. Hope your week has been going well. With love

  20. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, I hope your dad is feeling better and has a better week this week. You did so well, especially with such a worrisome week!

    Work was really busy this week, but we were glad to do a few things to build up our home. I harvested radishes, snap peas, and fresh basil from the garden, and cut a bouquet of zinnias and flowering mint (I let some of it flower for the bees & other pollinators) for my dad to brighten up his apartment. Our cucumbers and squashes are getting there, and this weekend I am planning to start seeds for our fall garden (more squash, peas, and beans, and I might try a couple of melons also).

    I did lots of cooking (pasta sauce, baked goods, chicken and rice, homemade pizza) and re-organized our big freezer so that I could add some butter, cheese, and veggies to our storage. We also picked up some extra soap and personal care items for our medicine cabinet/linen closet.

    Stitching and knitting continue to be good hobbies for keeping my hands busy, reducing anxiety, and making pretty things for our house and for gifts. I found some beautiful free charts at The Drawn Thread and The Heartstring Samplery blog, if anyone is looking for something pretty to work on and having trouble ordering charts, or not able/wanting to spend money on patterns right now. (In the US, it has been hard to get floss and fabric, and our mail has been delayed, so I am super grateful for these generous folks!)

    I hope everyone has a good weekend and stays safe and well.

    1. Dear Kathy, Thank you. Dad has been doing better...
      Your garden is sounding lovely and productive!
      Good things to add to the freezer. I also added butter today and want to add cheese as well.
      It is interesting to me that even embroidery floss is hard to get. I am hearing a lot about shortages on fabrics... I totally agree that needle work really of any kind is good. It is absolutely a good thing to keep our hands busy. Our mail is delayed here also... Many thanks, with love

  21. Dear Annabel
    So sorry to hear about your week and your poor dad - I hope he gets better soon. It’s awful enough when a loved one is ill, but to not be able to visit and have that human contact is torture in my opinion. Breaks my heart the families that cannot have even one visitor!
    Looking forward to your next post 🙂 Hope you have a lovely weekend.
    Blessings, Heidi xx

    1. Dear Heidi, Thank you. I am very sorry for people so ill in isolation that is terrible. I hope your week has gone well. Here we are it is almost Friday again! With love,

  22. Dear Annabel,
    Will continue keeping your dad, you and the rest of your family in prayers. What a lot has been going on!
    Our July heat took the record for highest July temperatures ever recorded. We were able to get some reflective insulation put up in our daughter's office and the spare bedroom windows. It has made a noticeable difference and we hope their being cooler will help keep the rest of the house cooler. There are a few more windows that we will put it up on, too.
    There was an offer on one of the Facebook groups to come get as many free boxes of produce and bottles of milk as you
    could use. They were close by, so we went over and got boxes for ourselves and 3 neighbors--cantaloupe, potatoes, carrots, onions, apples, milk and a few oranges. They kept asking if we would like more. We were told they would have more next Wednesday, so I will watch and see what they have.
    I added soap and supplies to make laundry detergent to the pantry and keep adding a few canned and dry goods along, as well.
    Our youngest granddaughter just turned 11. It was wonderful chatting with her on the phone, but we sure miss her and her parents. We had plans and flights scheduled to go see them in late March that had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Plans to go to California and the beach when our oldest granddaughter graduated from college were also canceled. We were able to watch live streaming of her getting her diploma last weekend. We were happy she had that and we were at least able to see it.
    Wishing All a safe and good weekend!
    Love from Arizona

    1. Dear Elaine, Thank you so much. Dad has improved quite a bit...
      I am sorry about such heat. I hate it. It is hard on everyone, plants and animals!
      How amazing about the produce! Sounds wonderful. I hope you went back on Wednesday as well. I know you will put it to good use.
      So sorry how you cannot see your Granddaughter but it is lovely you can chat. I feel thankful for phones and computers... and think of how it must have been for Nan in the war when her brothers went away overseas... they had none of these easy ways to know what was going on. Terrible.
      Well done to your older granddaughter for graduating! With much love,

  23. Men sure have a mind of their own. I hope your dad continues to improve. If our great grandson does not arrive by Tuesday they will induce labor. I think your bandana scarves and want to look online for a pattern for our new little boy. Love little goats and looking forward to hearing and seeing the antics of yours. Hoping things improve for this covid virus for everyone. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, That is an understatement! haha! Thank you though Dad has improved.
      I hope this means your Great Grandson is here safely now. This will be so exciting for you all! With love

  24. I hope your dad is getting better every day!

    Your miniature goat looks so cute. She reminds me of a dish of vanilla ice cream (white on the bottom) topped with milk chocolate sauce (light brown on top). So my name suggestion for this little girl goat is Sundae!

    1. Dear Nancy,
      I love your suggestion! She is gorgeous colours... this is what I loved about her first.
      Dad has improved thanks so much, with love

  25. The little girl goat could be called Coco. She looks very sweet.

    I am sorry for all the 'next things' that came your way last week.

    We have had several 'next things' occur as well. I personally would like to go sob a bit and release some of the pressure I feel but it would upset my husband, sigh. Yet I know it would be good for me, as crying a little has always been a wonderful way to relieve pressure/stress.

    I shall put your dad on my prayer list dearest, and you too.

    I did manage to stock up a little this last week. I was worried, since we haven't been shopping as much that I'd find things were bare once again but instead I found several items that haven't been on the shelves in months. I was happy to add to my pantry a few of those items.

    I've also been busy preserving the harvest even though it's from my produce bag subscription from a local grower. I don't always care for the items received but I'm determined to find a way to use it all and make it palatable. Today I put up a small jar of jam. Yesterday I cooked and froze several items.

    I confess I feel overwhelmed. But as I told my husband this morning, "Must is a hard master... but we must keep on."

    1. Dear Terri,
      I hope things are a bit better. Sometimes a good cry does, as you say, relive the pressure.
      Thank you so much for praying for Dad. He is doing fairly well.
      I am glad you had shopping success. Some items were in low supply here but I got most of what I was hoping to..
      It would be quite an interesting challenge to be sent a box of things and have to work them into the menu! I like it! We need to do what we can and go one day at a time... I cant think too far ahead or I feel like I might panic. So one day at a time... with love

  26. When I was little I had a goat I named Petunia Bouquet. The neighbor boy tried to hit her with a board and my mom had to catch me as I took the board away from him and tried to chase him down. He never tried that again. I loved my little Petunia Bouquet.

    1. Dear Crystal, I love that name and I will be using it, if not for the goat then for a lamb! I love how you went after that boy haha! What a lovely memory! With love

  27. My first thought for your baby goats were Phryne and Jack! I recently discovered Miss Fisher 😁

    I sure hope things get better for you, it’s still crazy here in the U.S., with such conflicting information being reported daily. It’s like we’re living in the twilight zone! Doing all you are doing is probably the smartest way to stay sane - building your pantry, tending the garden, keeping a routine as much as possible. We’ll get through this!

    1. Dear Kathy, Ahh Miss Fisher! Good names!
      Well things have just gone downhill with the virus and economy here. And yes conflicting information and rules. And yes I keep doing the busy things as I think it is the best thing too, at least constructive and I fall in bed at night and it is better if I am too tired to think lol
      We will get through one day at a time! With love

  28. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds

    What a turbulent time you having Annabel, both physically and emotionally. I do hope things improve for your Dad. Such a worrying time for all involved. But I do have to say that it was a lovely photo of your Mum and the Great Grandchildren.

    To those is Melbourne and surrounds my thoughts are with you all and please stay safe, as for those overseas this must also be a very turbulent time for you. Everyone stay safe. Cases in our state but none close to us so far, but a scare last week (media hype)

    What a gorgeous goat she is, names are beyond me when naming animals. Luckily our cat came already named. We once had goldfish that DD10 who was under 2 at the time that she named "oom an ahh" so I shall refrain from asking her.

    I am so loving the fabric of the bandana bibs. The student midwife I had for DD10 is due to have a baby boy in the coming months and I am loving being involved (from a distance) with her journey into Motherhood. Our other friend is due in around a week. Her words today "So close, yet so far away" It is very exciting.

    A friend has decided to have a clear out and given me some of her sewing to finish 3 boys cot or floor blankets. I busily basted these today and hope to get on with these in the next few days.

    Your animals are all growing up so fast. Scout looks so proud in the photo.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, It is lovely there are babies on the way and you have beautiful sewing projects to work on. And you have been doing so beautifully with your sewing.
      Dad has been doing better and getting around. Everything is not better with his leg but it is an improvement and Ill take it!
      I hope things stay ok in our states. It is a bit close for comfort here...
      I hope the week has gone well! It has been a big one for me. With lots of love

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