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 13 August 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 14th August, 2020.

I would love to say it has been a much easier week!  But if I did I would be lying!   On Wednesday night we had news that another batch of new rules are coming into place.  This lot will cut Lucy and her family off from us completely and also cut them off from school, Doctors, hospital, baby weigh ins.... everything.   The minute I found out it was a true head in hands, I am going to be sick moment.  

Since then we have worked to find out if there are any exceptions and what are our options?   The property Lucy lives on had land on both sides of the border but the driveway in Victoria.   As it is turning out many essential workers like nurses and school teachers (and others) will also be now unable to go to work.   So as far as I can see things are collapsing.

The news last night had a headline and when I see some of these I take a photo of the TV with my phone.   It was "Food Shortage and Price Hike Warnings."    And there sure will be.  If people cannot work, goods cannot be moved,  processing plants are shut or cut to minimal productive, even some supermarkets are shut, then yes there are going to be big problems.   Basics may soon become luxuries.

Lucy's neighbours are evacuating.  They cannot live with being cut off from their work, school etc so they are moving and have to be gone by next Friday.   Lucy and family cannot evacuate to here, they won't let them come this far.   Since there are no covid cases in the border community it makes you wonder.   So our time and energy has gone on this and sleep has not been easy.

I have a chance to meet with Lucy on Monday and then when this comes into place next week this may be the last time.  There is a lot of talk that this could last two years.  We are not accepting that.  But it could be my last change to do anything to help for a while so I am baking flat out and taking as many ready frozen meals as I can make.  Today is Lasagne and Spaghetti sauce bulk cooking day.

If you live in Australia you know the situation keeps changing.  It happens fast.  Be ready.
If you are overseas then I am seeing a lot to be concerned about in the USA and the UK just declared a  recession with GDP dropping 21% between April and June, which is a nose dive!

I knew I was preparing for SOMETHING.  I knew SOMETHING was coming.   I still think this is not it.  Another round of businesses will give up because of this and another tsunami of unemployed will be added.  As of next week our state requires Hotels, Cafes etc to employ an additional person to be a Marshal to oversee  social distancing etc.  Most of them are already really struggling. This will finish many more.   You can comply and do all the right things but it still means open, close, open close, lose business, new rules, new expenses...  sometime most will give up.  And another tsunami of job losses.   So I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I don't think this will be a recession it will be a depression.  
Obviously this is my opinion and I would be thrilled to be wrong.
Sorry to be so depressing.  Our family is being torn apart but we are going to fight on.

We are not going to give up.  In this time I have seen tremendous kindness.   People from the Doctor to the school teachers have reached out to Lucy in tremendous ways.  I have to say the worse things are the more an act of kindness or offer of help is like a shining star.  
We are beginning to see levels of desperation I have not ever seen in my lifetime.  Nothing new to generations before me.  But we had it very good growing up.  We never knew a shortage of anything. We were never stopped from being with our own family.   If something broke out sick people were quarantined.  Now well people are quarantined.  This is different.

Ok change of subject!   (Then I need to get cooking!)

This week I kept dehydrating and rearranged the pantry so I have a nice cool and dark cupboard to keep my dehydrated goods.   I also ordered a jar vacuum sealer so that I can seal them properly and get the maximum life for the goods inside.

Because it is still winter here the fire is always on.  At all times something is dehydrating.  

I now save the ends of the gluten free bread and dry those. Later they can be GF breadcrumbs or croutons.

This was a whole head of celery.  Once day it filled one medium jar.  

I am a member of a fair few pantry and canning groups.   From these I am seeing a huge number of people struggling to get jars, lids, seals etc.   Canning equipment is the new toilet paper, chickens or freezers!    Dehydrating is a very good alternative!   I still feel Rain Country on You Tube is a good place to learn all about Dehydrating.

I make Lemon Curd and froze it all for future cakes and pie fillings.

I added 94 Australian organic garlic cloves to me dehydrated goods.   I purchased these from a home grown company.

This week I was able to go to two op shops (thrift stores) and I make the most of them.  They were closed for months but now open.   I will never take them for granted again.  I am stocking up on fabrics, cottons, wool yarn.   This time I got two Queen size pure wool (Onkaparinga) blankets for my Dad.  He wants some as he saw mine.   He doesn't like modern quilts.   I prayed to find some since I haven't seen them lately.  There they were, a pair and in Dad's favourite green.  Also one in red and black which is a car blanket.  Beautiful condition.   During the week these have all taken a turn drying in the lounge room after being washed with my homemade wool wash.  They smell beautiful and come up so soft.
The op shop also had a bucket (yes bucket!) full of Fowlers brand new canning lids.   Fowlers is to Australia what Ball is to America in canning goods.    To top it off I got a heap of pure cottons in various florals,  some gingham and a remnant of pure wool   It was my lucky day that is for sure.

I did a stock up shop.   Then I made up 18 ham and cheese rolls and froze those.

Each day there is the normal stuff.  I try and do some weeding, the housework, take greens to the chickens and collect the eggs...  If I get everything done I can do some sewing.

I needed a nice gift for my Uncle. He us unwell so getting the virus would be a disaster.   I made him some face masks.  I covered a box I had.  I used a card I made.  I made the masks from remnants of other projects.  So the whole gift may have cost $2?   But it is a good gift!  (well I think so!)

He likes dogs so he got a Collie mask in there!

I also made extra masks for myself.  I already made some for Mum, Lucy, Chloe and my Aunt.

Now I am attempting to use remnants and make up masks that I can use as gifts and to barter.   I think I made 16 this week.   For gifts and bartering I package them up individually.

Now I am on to some manly ones.

I also finished up making bibs.  I made ten.  

So that is my week.  Veggies are drying on the fire now,  I have masks cut out.  I need to go collect the eggs then get my spaghetti sauce going.  I like it to cook three hours then some will go to lasagne and some will be portioned out to freeze.

It is not an option for Sidney not to see his paediatrician so please pray and we will continue to fight.  We won't be giving up.  To go the other way is a long distance and would put Lucy and the baby right into covid infected areas.  Which would be stupid!

When things get really worrying my nervous system isn't the best.  It would be a fair guess that many people are feeling nervous, stressed, depressed.   But we can't give up, we may have a long way to go.  We might have years to go.  

How did you do this week?  Were you able to add to your pantry or the garden?  Are you harvesting at the moment?   I know lots of the USA ladies are.   The little things we do daily add up to such a lot.   Please be encouraged to keep going and taking every


  1. Bravo. Keep up the spirit. No time to be idle.

  2. Sorry you are so stressed Annabelle. I hope and trust that the situation will become clearer for Lucy and that you will all get the help you need, and the support you need too. I know what it is like having to be a long way from your grand children - it is hard for both the grandparents and the little family. You are all very resourceful -you will get through this.

    1. Dear Earthmother.... We have made some progress. My main concern is that they can get basic medical especially as Sidney is still weighed weekly etc. They can manage without school. Hopefully I have good news soon we are not giving up. Thank you! Love

  3. Dearest Annabel , I’m so sorry you have all this worry now about Lucy and family , snd will pray for a good outcome .
    The red tartan rug is lovely and I’m sure your dad will love the two rugs you got him .
    You’ve done a lot to fill pantry and freezers , dehydrated products look good .
    Lemon curd is so yummy, I have lemons ready to make some here.
    Your uncle will be grateful for your thoughtfulness making him masks .
    Bibs are lovely too.
    Here I’ve been trying to tidy up the clutter caused by moving items out of our grandsons
    reach , he’s 19 months and into everything and sooo determined ,but oh so gorgeous as well haha .
    Take care , keep smiling and I hope things work out better than expected.
    Love to you and all the bluebirds , keep healthy and safe , with love , Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Little ones can reach so much. my brother was a climber. Boy there were some moments with him and what he could get to! Because I am 18 years older than him I saw it all! You are doing so well on filling the pantry and freezers. Thank you Maria. Have a good new week! With love

  4. Oh, Annabel, how stressful for you all. I hope you can find some way to organise exemptions for Lucy and the family.
    Noel just walked in the door and told me he's been contacted by NSW Health as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive. And has to self-isolate for 14 days. But apparently, we don't have to. As you say, it makes you wonder. He's off for another test now.
    Things really can change from one minute to the next.
    Sending lots of love across the states to you all xxxxx Fiona

    1. Hi Fiona,
      My understanding is that you will not have to self-isolate for the 14 days unless his test returns a positive result. Then you and the rest of your household would be a 'close-contact' and have to self-isolate for 14 days. If I am incorrect hopefully someone here will set me straight.
      And you are right, things really can change from one minute to the next.

    2. Thanks, Sherri, yes that is the advice that NSW Health has given. My son and I went and got tested this morning, just to be on the safe side. But that isn't necessary either, according to NSW Health. DP has to isolate regardless of his result, and that is what he is doing. We are wearing masks around the house now, even though he has set up the camper in the driveway. I'm sure we will all return a negative result.

    3. Dear Fiona, I hope there is no risk to Noel or any of you... but the rules often seem odd. At least you can be on the look out for symptoms. The thing seems to be people spread the virus most easily at the very beginning. I hope you are all ok. Yes, things can change so fast! Love and hugs,

    4. Thanks, Annabel x I'm sure we will all be ok, we've all had negative results. Noel will have another test in a few days, shortly before he finishes his iso.
      I hope you are all in good spirits and staying in contact (in the various ways available) with Lucy and the rest of your family xx

  5. Dear Annabel,
    My heart hurts for you and your family. I have been praying for you and will continue doing so.
    One of my neighbors has been sharing the extra things I give her from my other neighbor's excess with several families, so I am trying to be sure that I leave plenty for them while also adding to our pantry. I had the opportunity to go pick up frozen strawberries, milk, chicken tenders and shredded zucchini that were being given out first come, first served to anyone who wanted them. I was able to get for both of the neighbors I mentioned. The strawberries were flash frozen and are wonderful! They are fabulous just as they are and will be so good in fruit salads, toppings, etc. I have 2 zipper gallon bags and 3 or 4 quart bags of strawberries in my freezer. I am trying to prepare for the unknown and using your example and wise words.

    Your frozen meals will be greatly appreciated, I know. The bibs and masks are lovely. Such good buys at the op shop!

    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, What a blessing you are to your neighbours! I am so glad you are preparing. I have been shocked over and over by how fast things just change!
      Thank you for your prayers. We are all working on this and I hope to have something better to report soon. With much love

  6. Dear Annabel, I am so sorry to hear of this news. I will pray for Lucy and for you all. That must be very upsetting and worrying. Please know that you will all be in my prayers.
    I am impressed with your op shop finds and the gift for your Dad. I also love the present for your Uncle. Well done on all of the cooking. That is a huge help. I am so impressed with your dehydrating. I would love to buy a dehydrator. The amount things that you will have in your pantry will be amazing.
    I have felt a bit worn down this week. Never the less the usual cooking, house keeping and washing has been done, so that is ok. I would like to get more crocheting done over the weekend and also to plant some more seeds. I did manage to swap some seeds for some sweet potato cuttings. That is something.
    I too am very worried about the effects of all of this- emotionally, health-wise and financially. We just have to keep on keeping on.
    Thank you for your support, encouragement and wise words. Your blog is a haven. Love, Lily XXX

    1. Dear Lily,
      Thank you for your prayers. This is so good of you and the best thing I could ask for.
      Keep your eye on buy swap and sell and even ask around everyone you know... someone might have an idea dehydrator. Also in the summer, if you dont live in too much humidity, it might be possibly to air dry your herbs.
      Thank you for such an encouraging comment. With love,

  7. Oh Annabel, big hugs for you and Lucy and your families. I have tears in my eyes as I write. These new changes are so, so hard on you. And you are being a such a trooper about it all.
    I will keep Sidney, Lucy and the situation with the pediatrician in my prayers.

    1. Dear Sherri, Thank you I appreciate that so much. I am hearing of others here that are in terrible trouble due to this situation. Thank you for praying. With love,

  8. How I feel for you all. It is so difficult to weather the first few months of a baby's life and I am so sorry all this drama being added to your lives.

    I am in awe with your op shop finds. It is a very long time since I have found anything worth buying in the local shops. They are asking $7 or more for a man's shirt. Mum is mad for old shirts for quilting.

    I am glad you are stocked up. We don't have a huge amount but it will do. I have plenty to keep me occupied.

    1. Dear Suzan,
      I think many places the op shops have gone mad! Our further in the country seems better and the church ones are better. The "organisation" ones are expensive. But garage sales and Buy swap and sell etc are possibly other opportunities. Than you so much for your kind comment. With love

  9. Hang in there, Annabel. Use some of your essential oils on yourself to relieve your anxiety. All will be well for you and your family.
    Linda XXX

    1. Dear Linda, I am trying to do that. A mix called Clary Calm seems to help me. At night I have a sleep blend I do feel is very calming too. I need it by the gallon I think! With love

  10. Annabel as a mother and grandmother myself I know how worried you must be, here in WA some items are running low in shops. I am so thankful that I found your blog years ago you have inspired me to get my own home ready in time for this and keep improving on our preparedness. We seem to be a close community that meet up on many homemaking blogs I feel so blessed to have found the extended family here. Please keep safe......Sharlene

    1. Dear Sharlene, Thank you so much for such kind comment. I avery grateful for all our friends we have here. I am so glad you have worked on your preparedness. Sharleen, reading what the USA ladies are experiencing has set me ahead many times... they often seem just ahead of us. So some of them said flour and yeast were short... so I got those and then it happened here. Now they say cleaning and clothing and canning items etc so this is interesting. Our community is helpful! Thanks so much. With love

  11. Oh Dear! Can you jump over the fence on the SA side and Lucy drive over from her side and legally meet somewhere in the un policed middle of their property? Bulldoze a new driveway out the SA side maybe?
    All the best.

    1. Kate you are on the right track and we are looking into what we can legally do. There is hope! xxx

  12. Dear Annabel, I really feel sorry for the situation in which you and your family are. But also I am glad that you have been prepared and that you keep fighting. I am glad for your op store finds. Here in Germany we are still okay, but they keep talking about new infection rates, second wave, closing schools already again after they had opened after vacation. I guess they are preparing. I can understand that the situation brings you down, but I am impressed about what you are doing. It is encouraging. Lots of love Heike xxx

    1. Dear Heike, Thank you so much. Well I was able to deliver my meals and see everyone. So I am grateful for this. Now to see what happens next week. I hope you do not have too many new infections in Germany. You must stay safe and careful you do no need this illness. With much love

  13. My heart is breaking for you Annabel. As soon as I heard the news about the increased restrictions I thought of your beautiful family and how it would affect you all. What a dilemma! The ABC radio has had callers galore about this situation and they are absolutely stunned and devastated, their kids cant even go to their school! I have been following the radio to see if there is any change.

    Keep fighting girl! Grit and determination will hopefully get you somewhere. Where there is a WILL there is a WAY, and I hope there is some exemption/arrangement that allows you contact with your beloved family. Two years!!! That would be horrific for you all to deal with. I do hope that is not the case, but nothing surprises me anymore.

    Praying for you all x

    Stay strong Annabel.
    Lots of love and hugs,
    Tania xoxoxo

    1. Thanks Tania. I am glad you are far from the border. I am horrified at some of the situations I am hearing about. Like a line is there between say your and your parents farm and you are their carers.... and just like that you cannot get to them. It is terrible and people are going to be ruined or worse. We will keep fighting. It is not right a baby cant see their paediatrician. It is not right cancer patient cant get to treatment. Nurses and teachers cant get to work! And farmers cant tend to their animals! Yes you can bet we are fighting! Thank you! With love

  14. Annabel,
    Oh how stressful for you, your family, Lucy and Kato and all that live in Victoria. My prayers are with all. A year ago we would never have thought something like this would happen.

    I am happy to hear you are able to see Lucy on Monday and bring her meals to heat and serve. Please give her my love when you see her and the children.

    You accomplished a lot this week with everything you are dealing with. So happy that you found blankets for Dad in his favorite color and your car blanket is beautiful.

    I have been starting my Fall cleaning, re-organizing cabinets and closets to make more space and more organized. I am doing my best to restock, but we know how that goes here. I at least know I don't need laundry detergent for quite awhile. LOL! Does show cleaning and inventorying is worth it.

    We haven't had our second wave of the virus here as of yet and they are planning on reopening our schools. Trying to get ready for the wave but even now our stores in our area haven't recovered from the first and many food and clothing items are in short supply or non-existent.

    Prayers for All!

    1. Dear Rosanne, Thank you! Today (Wednesday) two of Lucys farming neighbours are moving off their farms. I think this is disgraceful... two local new parers care closing down and a medical clinic all due to border issues. There is collapse everywhere. Thank you for praying.
      I have been following you are have reorganised all my laundry supples too! Now I know what I have! It is much better!
      Thanks too for the report on your area. With much love

  15. Hello, Annabel and Bluebirds! Continuing prayers for your family, Annabel, and honestly the entire world as the repercussions of the pandemic keep coming. Seeing how all of the Bluebirds are working through this rough time encourages me when I'm overwhelmed, and I also don't do well when my nervous system is attacked with worry, fear and anxiety so everything I can do to keep that to a minimum is very helpful for my health.

    We were blessed with a few preparing ahead things this week. My husband is working on finishing our bedroom closet which remained unfinished without sheet rock through paint for the almost 8 years since we built our house. I'm excited to see it almost completed, and he is planning to add built-ins for keeping folded clothes so we can have all clothing in the closet rather than the haphazard system we've had for years. That will change the environment of our bedroom to something more organized and easier to clean.

    My husband was able to bring home an empty 100 gallon propane tank from a house remodeling job he's working on right now as it was just going to the trash. This was on our preparedness list to get an extra one so I'm very pleased to have that checked off the list.

    We were gifted with about 40 pounds of yellow squash which I have been working through processing for the freezer after giving away a few that others wanted. I also got the fall garden completely in with lots of seedlings up already so it's looking promising.

    I have been working on getting stuff purchased and made for our older daughter to return to college campus next week. We were able to get some items like toilet paper and even a thermometer and some dried goods for her pantry and I'm now working on making homemade cleaning supplies, hemming rags and cloths, and making some homemade personal care products like dry shampoo and hand sanitizer.

    Hoping everyone has a calm and blessed week! ~Jenny

    1. Dear Jenny, It will be wonderful having the closets all done! You will enjoy getting everything organised and nice.
      Very good on the propane tank. We have collected what we call Jerry cans... to store fuel and also extra gas cylinders as fuel is important.
      All that squash! We seem to call pumpkins and squash something different i.e. the long green ones we call zucchini... these make wonderful soup. But they are all useful and nutritious and what a bonus for you!
      Love all you are doing for your daughter. Just beautiful Jenny! I hope this week is going well there! With love

  16. Prayers for you and your family. Prayers this passes soon. I do not understand how they can keep you from doctors and hospitals - that seems somewhat criminal.
    Take care my friend.

    1. Dear Cheryl, I believe it is criminal and people will die. A whole medical clinic is closing Friday due to these border issues. Families are having to move house to be able to get medical care. Two of Lucys farmer neighbours are moving today. They have to as Friday will be too late. Yes it is criminal. No I wouldnt have ever believed this could happen. Not here. Not in Australia even... Thank you for praying. With love

  17. Your restrictions and rules do indeed seem draconian, but at least your government is taking things seriously, our government seem to be playing some kind of game. Unfortunately that game is with lives. In my area (Greater Manchester in NW England) cases are rising again and my town is one of the worst affected.

    After trying, very hard, to wear a mask, I am afraid I cannot, I had a panic attack whilst wearing one on the bus the other day. My neighbour ordered me a face visor and asked to be paid in jam! The visor is bulky, difficult to store and make turning ones head very difficult but at least I can wear it. I await some nasty comments, I'm sure they will come.

    Charity shops are open here, well some are, but I can't cope with the rules so I don't go in them. I haven't been into a shop in weeks, I have been doing an online shop, it gets me through, although I maybe eating some strange concoctions, it's preferable to the alternative.

    I am weary, so weary and despite attempting to remain upbeat I am struggling, but I am certain that I am not alone. I am dreading winter.

    I haven't commented for a few weeks because I couldn't find a single positive thing to say, I haven't today, but just typing this has been quite cathartic. I understand Annabel if you don't want to publish this.

    Everyone take care, stay safe and do the best you can in your circumstances.

    1. Dear Su, I'm so glad that you did comment. I think that what you write is very similar to how many people are feeling. I find mask wearing difficult too. Staying home is the safest thing to do - some little daily joys like noticing birds through the window or a beautiful blue sky help me. This won't last forever - I promise. We will get back to a more normal life. I also find online grocery shopping frustrating as they often miss a crucial item. Please continue to comment and don't feel bad about voicing concerns that most of us have now. Also, the Calm app that people have been talking about in the comments is free for 7 days. It has helped me a lot. There is also a free app called "Smiling Mind" which hopefully you can access (it's from Australia so I don't know if you can access it there but it is free). It has daily little recordings that you can listen to that help calm you. It sounds silly and hippy but really they are wonderfully soothing for the soul. Will be thinking of you. Mrs Tiggywinkle

    2. Su I hope you can find some joy at the moment. It is hard not to be depressed by the relentlessness of this pandemic. Perhaps a gratitude journal? I hate the masks so am developing some exercises I can do in the house and yard. Not to sure what the neighbours must think. Barb

    3. I had to try several different types of masks until I found one that was comfortable and I could breathe in. I would love to get a face shield for the man I help. He is 88 and he really can't wear a mask. We go on small walks and try to avoid people but someone always comes close to us.

  18. I am sad to hear you so stressed. I just wanted to say that I was reading a news report this evening that mentioned there would be exemptions for people with property that straddles the border. I do hope that this applies to Lucy and her family. Take care and much love. xxx

  19. Dear Annabelle, my heart goes out to you and I will pray for you and a positive change in Lucy's situation. You did great at the op shops and I know your dad will love his new blankets. And what a thoughtful gift for your uncle. I love the way you "make-do" with what you have and your stocking up on materials for future projects. It's good to have plenty of thread, elastic and zippers on hand, too. I also find those at the thrift shops.
    It seems there is more to the chaos in this world than meets the eye. I believe you're right in thinking the worst is yet to come and we better prepare for the long haul!
    We got our new countertop and sink installed (thanks to my granddaughter and her fiance who had to cancel their March wedding plans due to co-vid). There is still work to be done in stages (tile backsplash, etc.) but we are plugging away. It is terribly hot and dry here so we are having to water every day, mostly
    trying to save our fruit trees. My granddaughter brought us a rooster and he is fitting in nicely. I see baby chicks in our future!
    I am also dehydrating everything in sight. I saw a recipe online for something called "Baba's Soup". Basically (for storage) you half-fill a quart canning jar with dehydrated veggies (carrots, onion, celery, potatoes, green beans, etc.). When ready to prepare the soup, put two cups of boiling water in the jar to rehydrate the vegs. Let set for an hour or so then pour into a pot, add a bouillon cube, additional water (or use broth) and boil until veggies are done. I think this would be a great addition to a prep pantry and canned meat could also be added to make a hearty soup. I have a separate binder for "recipes from food storage" and I am trying out a new dish each week, eliminating the failures and saving the keepers.
    This is a "use-it-up" tip: If you have left over soda pop that has gone flat, use it in place of water in gelatin to make Jello.
    It seems so strange that we Bluebirds, whether in the states, Australia or other country, are all facing challenges. I think it's a wonderful thing that we can come to this place and share and support each other. I so appreciate Annabelle and each of you. I pray for peace, safety and prosperity for you. Thank you, Annabelle.

  20. Dear Annabel,
    Sending much love and a big hug your way, dear friend. You and I are so much alike that I can truly feel the incredible, intense stress that this situation would cause your cental nervous system.
    The first vitamins to go are the B complex vitamins when under stress. The B's are water soluble and flush out of the body quickly. Please take care of you, so you will have the health to carry on.
    I will be praying for Lucy and her family. I would think essential health care would be an extremely high priority to allow access to for those that need it.
    The world is changing faster than most people can process. The depression rate and suicide rate is skyrocketing. All prayer warriors are needed on deck and active.
    I continue trying to process some food daily. I am behind, so it will be another busy day again.
    Canning jars and lids are very scarce here. We stocked up, in the Spring, to add to our stash of lids, canning jars and vacuum sealing bags. As we find more half gallon jars we add them. I like to use the half gallons for vacuum sealing crackers, cookies, chips, baking chips, dried herbs, dried fruit, etc Half gallons store more and take up less space than two to four other jars. I take out what is needed, then reseal them.
    Your finds at the OP shop are always amazing. What beautiful blankets! The bibs and masks you are making are lovely. The gift to your Uncle was most thoughtful and kind.
    Love and blessings to all the Bluebirds,

  21. Annabel, I am so sorry for all the stress and worry. I live in the US but my daughter and her family live in country Victoria so I understand how you feel. They are coping but it is so difficult when things change day to day. We can get through this but we're just not used to having to. They have been steadily stocking up for quite a while as my grandson has sensory issues and only can eat limited foods. Thank goodness they listened! Fingers crossed for all of our loved ones....and for ourselves.

  22. Dear Annabel, Praying for your situation. Very stressful indeed. On the other hand, your masks are wonderful and the shopping at the op shop sounds great. I continue to pray for you and your family.

  23. Dear Annabel,
    This is such a stressful time. Please know that you and your family are in my family's prayers,and that the powers that be would grant an exception for Lucy's family so that they will not be deprived of the medical visits for the children.

    Despite all of this you have had a productive week. I think being productive is the one thing we can control in our lives. It gives me a feeling of peace as I see small things add up to much larger things. Looking back on my week the majority of time was spent harvesting the garden, replanting for fall, and food preservation. It has been so hot and humid here that we're up very early each day before the sun gets high to do the outside work. Today is rearrange the freezer day and take inventory as there's nothing ready to harvest today. I will probably get a little baking done as well. Wishing all the Bluebirds a good week ahead. Stay safe, stay healthy, Blessing, Cookie

  24. This is certainly upsetting news and I am not even the Mum and Grandma. If you have Hopewell Sunshine it is helpful in times like these. You can put a drop on the back of your neck or even just carry the bottle in your left pocket but not with your cell phone. We have one on our night stand in our bedroom that helps us calm and down and sleep well with out worry. I think our governments are not thinking with common sense anymore. What a blessing to find those canning lids! There are none to be had here but I believe we have enough for this year although we are about run out of pint jars now.

    Over the last few weeks we have really done some restocking and stocking up. I am really feeling the need to do so just like you. We canned 21 jars of meat that we bought on sale for really good prices this week so that is on the shelf and ready for when it is needed. They say that things will get bad here as we move into the fall. Limits at the grocery stores have mostly been lifted here so we need to stock up while we can. We are still very concerned about our kids who don't think anything bad can happen but we cannot get to some of them so all we can do is pray.

  25. So I read your post early this morning then went to town to visit yard sales in hope of finding more canning jars. My d-i-l is completely out & really wants more.

    At the first stop, it was a moving sale where an older lady was moving out of state to be cared for by her daughter. I had just missed boxes of jars by a few minutes....but, she had a dehydrator with extra trays, unopened in the box that she sold to me for $4! I've been pricing them & really wanted to try one out before spending so much money. I am beyond thrilled.

    The next sale I found two jars. When the lady saw me grab them she mentioned a bin full that she had but hadn't had time to sort. It had some broken jars in it & she said I could have the whole bin for $1 as is! She even carried it to the car for me. It took me all of 10 minutes to sort out the broken glass. I ended up with 15 quart jars, 15 pint jars & few miscellaneous sizes. Plus some canning tools that I don't have.

    God's provision for sure. Now I just need to find a source for seals & rings.

    1. Jenny, I loved reading your post and hearing that you found things you and your d-i-l need. That has happened to me quite a few times, especially if I pray about it before I go on my "search"! Our Walmart and Dollar General (here in central Texas) still had lids and rings last time I checked. Don't know where you are from, but good luck in your search and have a great week. Pam

  26. Dear Annabel,

    My stomach is just in knots from reading your post, so I can't even imagine how much worse it is for you, actually being in that situation. It is just mind-boggling how good intentions (with rules and restrictions) can be so horrifying and have such devastating effects in themselves! We have only a fraction of this happening here so far...most of what we have are tightening rules imposed on a zero-case (for months, now) population (in our province) our problem is nuisance more than anything. (And for me, I worry about when it will be okay to not have the rules, if we have them when there aren't any cases.) Obviously we have fall out economically, but it doesn't come near to your least so far! We all appreciate your sharing what is going on there, as, like you say, it could be here next! I am definitely taking advantage of this year's plenteous bounty in the garden, that's for sure. You are smart to be collecting up fabric, yarn, etc., as when we were in lock down, it was really hard to get this stuff.

    I don't remember who it was that commented, or if it was you that wrote about Elisabeth Elliot and her praying "Lord, have mercy" when she couldn't formulate anything else, but I have done this so often lately. A dear friend and neighbor...the one with cancer that I helped with grocery shopping during lock down...just died this week. And though it was expected, and I am so glad she is no longer suffering, it is very tough to take right now.

    I do hope you will be able to get something sorted out with access for Sidney to a doctor, etc, very soon! Praying for all of you!!!!! Hugs and kisses from Nova Scotia... Jen.

    1. Hi Jen, thank you for sharing the prayer, "Lord, have mercy" I used this prayer last night when praying. Tonight I will be praying "Lord, have mercy on all our health care workers in Australia and across the world."

  27. Since the beginning of this pandemic the word “lockdown “ has made me apprehensive because our daughter and her husband depend upon us to come and care for the children while they work and to think we couldn’t get there was so scary . We took extra everything and stored for to have. Praying you get things figured out. I just purchased a dehydrator and have searched everywhere for the jar vacuum sealer.

  28. Dear Annabel,
    How horrible to be cut off from Lucy and the grandkids. I'm just don't understand why they aren't allowed to come to you? I'm sure it's just that I'm unfamiliar with the distances there or the rules. Here in the U.S we are still able to drive to family, even across state lines, but must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival and two weeks upon arriving back home, at least that's what I heard from my neighbors when they came home from Florida. I do agree that my stress and anxiety level is mounting week by week, so I can't imagine how much worse it is for you as I'm not cut off.
    The blankets you found are gorgeous. god certainly answered your prayer and even provided the color you sought. The plaid reminds me of the Pendleton wool blankets we have here. So glad for you that you found canning supplies as well.
    The masks are a thoughtful gift for your uncle. I'm sure he'll appreciate them so much. The floral watercolor ones are very pretty. It's interesting to hear you mention the word "barter". My grandparents often talked about bartering things during the Depression and the war. Is bartering becoming a common means of transaction in Australia now?
    I'm sure an exception will have to be made for babies to see their pediatrician. There's not an option there. I'm sure God will make a way.
    Yes, we are harvesting now. The tomatoes are finally coming in and the potatoes are doing well. I've been hilling them up as needed.
    You are very resourceful so I'm sure you will find a way to be together again soon. We must keep looking for the silver lining.
    Blessings, Laura

  29. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, I am so sorry that you will be separated from your family! That is hard, and I will light a candle for you all. You did amazing this week though! Your masks are pretty and I love all of your finds.

    My husband has to go in to work next week (he will be the only one there), so I have been a little scattered worrying about that and trying to make sure he has everything he needs to be as safe as possible. I did use the crockpot to make some meals, baked cookies and pizza, and harvested our first cucumbers for the year! That was exciting. We still have some peas and radishes, and green onions. I also saved my first zinnia seeds - I planted all heirloom varieties, and am hoping to plant lots more next year. We've seen a ton of honeybees and butterflies (and other pollinators) these past few weeks, so I am much encouraged.

    No shopping this week, but I've been knitting using my stash and sent a few cards from my stash to touch base with family. One step at a time, right?

    Hugs and hoping everyone has a good weekend.

  30. Annabel,
    I am so sorry to hear of the added stressful situation. I will be praying that things work out well.
    I understand how things can change quickly. The unknown and the constant change can put us all over the edge. The only thing we can do is keep encouraging each other- at least we have each other through these most difficult of times. I am so very thankful for that!!
    I have picked a gallon of blackberries and plan to freeze them to use in smoothies. I hope to pick another gallon to make into jam for Christmas gifts. I also made 2 bottles of vanilla extract. I hope to make 4 more but have to find a cheaper vodka to use.
    I'm hosting a camp out with my 7 yr old grandson this evening. He will pitch his tent in our backyard. We will roast hot dogs over a camp fire and probably have s'mores too. Trying to put a little fun into his summer before he has to begin on-line school which he is very nervous about.
    I fear things here in the US could spiral downward quickly in November due to the presidential election-no matter who wins. I am working as fast and hard as I can to prepare as much as I can.
    Let's keep on keeping on.
    Kim-Pacific Northwest-US

    1. Dear Kim,
      I have to say because of you all I follow a lo of US news. We saw some scary and extremely violent scenes this week. I do think the mood could get worse as the election gets closer. So I agree on your idea to prepare.
      The blackberries sound beautiful. Jars or jam are lovely gifts. And your camp out! Your Grandson will love it! So exciting. I would love to do this! I will remember this idea. Kids would think that is so exciting. I hope the online schooling goes well and he gets along well with it. With love

  31. I'm sorry if you are cut off from Lucy and family, but I disagree that it is tearing your family apart. Not emotionally, and that's where it matters. You may all come out of this stronger than before. I don't think it will take two years because we should have a vaccine before then.

    Platitudes aside, does Lucy's property border your state, or was it subdivided from a larger piece of land and it is entirely within Victoria? Even if her driveway is in Victoria, but some of her property is in the other state (is that SA?), I'd bushwhack a road out the back. I have a feeling this is not the case--or you would have done it by now--but just thought I would bring it up.

    The comments last week about "Covid fatigue" really hit home for me. Part of my problem is that I don't have a plan most of the time. I often feel like I am just spinning my wheels. Half of what I want to do at any given time turns out to be impossible because of the virus, or has become way more trouble than it is worth.

    These were my frugal accomplishments for the week--
    * I made 4 fancy pot holders with materials from my stash. I'm getting rid of all of my nasty old pot holders. It's hard to get too excited over a new pot holder...especially when the corners of the binding suck.

    * My neighbor dropped off another bag of plums. Nothing like free food!

    * I was given big clumps of three different daylilies (two were mine at the other house!) and a clump of something that has beautiful leaves and the blooms are pink spires. I saved some plants for my daughter-in-law, who is coming to visit next week. They live 525 miles away, in this state, but the geography and roadless areas makes it hard to get to there from here unless you go through another state!

    * I harvested green beans, cherry tomatoes and two Early Girls, and I picked my first zucchini today. This year's garden has been a dud, especially the beans. I've had enough for a meal twice (and will probably get another one), but I've only canned 6 pints, vs. 20 pints last year from the same small space.

    Best wishes to everyone here. "This, too, shall pass."

    1. Thank you Maxine. The potholders sound beautiful. They are so useful too.
      I have to have a plan. I plan my week on Sundays and then a list for each day. My list doesnt always all get done... but I have a good go at it. Well this helps me. Yes it is different now but I can plan what I want to do t home, make etc.
      I think this is a time for projects or maybe even learning a new skill that we never had time to do before. This makes it less frustrating and more useful, time wise.
      The property does have part in South Australia. Your idea is good and this week we have been looking into if this would work!
      Your harvest sounds good even if not as good as most years. It all counts! With love,

  32. Ok call me stupid but Annabelle buti can they make another driveway? Yep close that one up and get out of Victoria. Just a thought.
    Praying for your family..can't even imagine.

    1. Dear Vickie, Well you are not stupid! This is a good suggestion and we are looking into it! We are hoping by Friday to have some solutions and also thousands of people are lobbying for government to help people who live right there on the border. Thanks Vickie. With love

  33. Annabel it is awful that you can be so close and yet not have the ability to get in contact with your gorgeous girl and her cherubs.I have a small understanding as we were supposed to be seeing our Grandies about now, but due to Covid this is not happening.
    I continue to get unfinished items, I found in the sewing room clean out, finished off. I am using up what I have and getting things put away for gifting.
    In the kitchen I am adding what I can to the pantry. This week I had a glut of tomatoes and just didnt want to make any more passatta, so I made tomato jam instead. My goodness why have I never heard of tomato jam before. It is super delicious.
    Bluey is rethinking and rebuilding a fort knox of chicken pens and yards. It might be finished by Christmas. The amount of other peoples rubbish he has bought home from the tip to make this is quite amazing. I so hope the junk pile lessens as the build progresses.
    Maybe Kato need to build an SA gate on the property so Lucy can exit and enter the property without all the hassles currently involved with the Vic gate?
    Life is Covid scary but it is still very good

    1. Dear Jane, I am sorry you are not seeing the Grandkids. I know how much you would want to. I am dying to see this new chicken mansion. It will be good! And secure! The suggestion you made turns out to be a very good one! With much love

  34. Annabel, you sound very stressed. I am so sorry about the situation with Lucy. It is the same with our border towns too. I saw on the news recently that some people in Melbourne are relocating to Queensland. Perhaps down the track Lucy and family may be able to relocate to SA to prevent this happening again. I know that would be huge but you are a close family and I know how hard it is for you not to be close to your girls. Big hugs for the week ahead.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Thank you. I saw too people upping and going to QLD. The farm Lucy is on is partly in SA which is what makes this even more surprising! I am able to see them all tomorrow as the new restrictions start at the end of the week. We will fight on until then! With love

  35. Hi Annabel, I enjoy and learn from reading your blogs and want to thank you for doing that. I am so sorry about the shut downs and Lucy and all the problems. Just dealing with the Covid is stress enough. Our grandson has the covid. He does not seem to be really sick but not a nice thing to go through. His wife had the test and is negative thankfully. It eases my mind as was with her and great granddaughter and gave a hug a week or two ago. Hubby went to store today and they were out of coffee filters. Dehydrating when possible and plugging along trying to stock up. Hoping your stress level goes down quickly and you can enjoy your new grandson. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, Oh I hope your Grandson is ok. He sounds like he is doing well. I hope you all stay well as does your Grandsons family.
      Thank you so much Nancy, with love

  36. Dearest Annabel, so sorry to hear of your situation. Is it possible for you to relocate there for awhile ? And as hospitals are essential services they surely cannot ban you and Lucy for going to the dr ? Just a thought. I lost my job at the choc shop (my own fault). But right now I just want to prepare as much as I can about things. I don't know why I just feel an urgency to prepare food ! So I'm stocking my freezer. Love the masks. Beautiful. Stay safe. You're in my prayers. Love Sonia . Sydney Australia

    1. Dear Sonia, I can go there but I would not be allowed to return. So if Dad was to get worse I could not come home. Lucy applied with a letter from the paediatrician and they still refused her to be able to take Sidney to his appointments. Oh no sorry about your job! I think there is a reason you feel this urgency so dont discount it... good girl for stocking up. Many thanks Sonia. with love

  37. Oh, Annabel I feel for you and Lucy's family. We are very stressed here in Missouri as well. We are one of the red states and it is terrible to not be able to see my kids, hold my new grandson and worse to hug my Mother who is dying and on hospice at her nursing home.We are not allowed in to see her. Praying for you and your family and ours.

    1. Oh dear Judy, I feel so sad for you. Your situation is much worse than mine. I am so sorry. This is horrific. I hope there is some way they will make for you to see your Mother. These situations are unimaginable. You also have a new Grandson! Congratulations. I want to reach out and hug you this is the hardest and I pray this ends soon and you get to see everyone. With love,

  38. Bluebirds, unfortunately every state border in Aus is closed. So we are like totally separate
    .We were able to go to western Qld last weekend and visit two of our sons their wives and our grandchildren . Sons needed fertile choook eggs as it has been impossible for them to access chooks up there
    We spent three days with them yet we can’t get into Brisbane the state capital to visit our daughter and grandchildren and meet our new granddaughter who is now 13 weeks old
    Our eldest son lives in Perth and he is telling us it will be a long long time before we can get there
    There is no covid in our area of NSW and in the west south west , or northwest
    As we are retired our life hasn’t changed all that much, except for travelling to see our families
    I was very ill for nearly 4 weeks with severe asthma however I couldn’t go to town or the Drs as with my asthma I cough and it was very severe could
    You just imagine the reactions oh she has covid!
    Love to all

    1. Lorraine I hope you are feeling better and glad you are able to see some of your family :).


    2. Dear Lorraine, I really feel for you with not seeing the baby. I hope each day your asthma is improving. It is very tiring. I have it mildly. A few times it has been worse and it is exhausting I remember that. I wish I could figure out what made it worse at times and what made it better. I am wondering if you had allergy testing it might identify triggers? Like I know I am allergic to cats... so I assume cat fur would likely tricker my asthma. Anyway I just thought of this.
      Yes anyone who coughs is under suspicion! Difficult! Have a good new week... with love

    3. Dear Annabel and Lorna thank you both for caring
      My asthma is better, I Don know what triggered it this time and it was so severe
      Dr said my iron was back up but 3 monthly diabetes habc1 were bad we worked that the only thing different ness the sever asthma and the amount of preventer and ventolin that I was using do all ok
      I am still very tired but again no worries
      Lorna you are doing so well with all your actions on your home front and prayers for DH
      Annabel hope all we talked about will
      Much love Lorraine

    4. Dear Lorraine!

      I’m very sorry that you have had the severe asthma, and so glad that you have relief! So much stress everywhere would not help! You are in our prayers!


  39. So many are doing it tough Annabel and it is so hard when there is a new baby in the family and you want to support your daughter. Whatever happens it will be Ok. Kind people are already supporting Lucy and maybe this crisis has provided them with that opportunity. Giving and accepting help is one of the good things to happen at this time. I find reading the posts in the Kindness Pandemic group on Facebook a really positive thing at the moment. If you can’t see Lucy you may be aware of someone close by in a situation similar to her that you can help. None of us like to ask for help but it is so good when it is offered. Firstly be kind to yourself. X Barb

    1. Dear Barb,
      I am going to look up this group. I didnt know about it! Yes... there are good things that come out of things and Lucy getting to know neighbours is one. Also I like your suggestion to network this way ... thank you. I am seeing them all tomorrow as she is still free to go to town until Friday. Taking cooking! Have a good new week. with love

  40. ulel14 August 2020 at 13:09
    Dear Annabel,
    I'm really sorry that you've had such a stressful week again. I'd honestly not realised how bad the situation is in Victoria. There's been very little here (I'm in the UK) on the news about the situation generally in other countries which I think is very poor. I'm so glad your mum was able to hold Sidney, and that your dads legs a little better. I send you and your family my very best wishes for the future and really hope that you will soon cuddle little Sidney again, and be able to see Lucy regularly, Sadly I don't have grandchildren myself, but I do have very vivid memories of being on my own with a new baby and a toddler in a flat in Manchester while my husband worked long hours in a new job, not knowing a soul and having no family around me to support us as they all lived miles away. My heart therefore goes out to Lucy, and to you.
    I think that keeping busy and active is helping many of us in these strange and difficult times. I'm still building up my pantry, making our bread, baking, pickling and preserving and at night finishing various unfinished pieces of knitting, sewing, and needlepoint. I'm trying to improve my crochet skills by following online tutorials - not very successfully but I will persevere!
    Our own 'lockdown' here in the the north west UK is thoroughly confusing. The rules are very unclear and don't seem to have any logical thought behind them. I think it is so important, as you say, that we try our hardest to look for the small gifts that every day brings. Today MrL brought me two stunning gladioli up from the allotment and they really cheered both of us up
    Best wishes

    1. Dear Lesley, Your experience as a young Mum with no family around gives you a really kind appreciation of how it is and you are just right. I agree about keeping busy and doing things that feel like they are helping.
      Your rules sound like ours. Many have been contradictory. Granted they had to think them up fast but some go back and forth. Confusing for anyone. I love that you have an allotment! All my life I have loved the whole idea of allotments. All you are doing sounds beautiful I am working on a blanket in the evenings and it is keeping me warm. With love,

  41. Dear Annabel,

    You have been on my mind continuously for 2 or 3 days. Now I know why.

    I am praying for you and your family. If I could offer a word of advice... It is something I learned during several terrible times of suffering. When you get a word that seems to go on for years, as you did this week, don't look at the time length of it at all. Look at Jesus and remind yourself that He will give you grace for the day. I know He does.

    Don't look at what the future might hold or how long it might last. Just trust the grace for today. Then get up tomorrow and do that again. For as long as it takes. Every day. And if a day seems too long, just do the next thing for an hour, then the next hour, until bed time.

    Love you. Praying.

    1. Dear Cristy, Yes you were on the right track! Thank you for praying. Thank you for your kind words. I am trying to go day by day and week by week. This is what we have to do. Tomorrow I get to see Lucy, Sidney and the girls as they can still go to town until Friday. I am taking lots of cooking. I will make the most of this day! With much love,

  42. So sorry for all the stress and worry you and all the other Australians are facing right now. I went on the Guardian site yesterday to check all the rules and regs in your various states and it was truly confusing! I hope that your daughter and grandchildren get things sorted so that they can access doctors etc. and that you can find a way to see them - keeping my fingers crossed.

    We are doing ok in Canada at the moment - my province has managed to keep new infections well under about 100 people per day for the past 10 days. Other provinces have experienced small flareups which they seem to be handling them and our border closure with the US has been extended for another month. I don't know why they keep doing it just month to month - things are so bad in the US that 90% of Canadians want it to remain closed for the foreseeable future.
    I just came back from doing a curb side pickup at the library - as of next week I'll be able to go in to pick up holds on my own schedule instead of booking a time but still no wandering the stacks. I then did another quick trip to my local supermarket and it is fairly well stocked so got another buggy full of things - both food and non food - for the pantry. I try to add some long term items each trip as we are all expecting a second wave come November. Schools are reopening in about 3 weeks so that will be the next big test.
    I hope next week will bring some better news for you and all your readers.

    1. Dear Margie,
      We are still working on finding a way. An application with letter from the paediatrician was refused. So we went back and started over.
      This month to month thing... I have a theory they think people will get too upset if they state long time periods so they set short ones and keep extending them...
      Good on stocking up. especially if you see good prices. Yes as things re open this is a test... we will soon see... with much love,

  43. Here in Georgia, USA I experienced a different scenario. My just turned 9mo old grandson was due a wellness check but had a stuffy nose and we were told if he had any fever the doctor would NOT see him! Fortunately he, nor I (with the same sinus issues) had fevers so I was allowed to take him in for the check up. He had double ear infections. I cannot imagine how one is to deal with a baby with ear infections and not be allowed to see a doctor!
    I had been setting aside a little extra each month towards electricity for summer, which can be a higher in the heated months, but haven't needed it thus far. I'm turning that into pantry and household need items. I'm not able to go out and do a big shopping just now but am slowly adding via online and grocery store purchases. I'll do all I can to try and be prepared.
    In the meantime, I'm putting up what I can and making good use of all we have. My daughter in law brought me a big jar of whey from her yogurt making last week and I have used it to make English muffins, bread and Bagels. Each has responded well to the whey as liquid. I'm building up my recipe files to include recipes I've never bothered to write down but which use frugal and basic pantry items. My husband is also thinking about other preparations and I am appreciative as he's thought of areas that I had not. I am learning all I can, even at my age!, so that I can help my household and my families as needed.
    Prayers will be said for you Annabelle, and know that this too is a season, albeit it might seem a long one, it's just a season. Big hugs...

    1. Dear Terri,
      Oh my goodness, just as well the doctor saw him. He would have been in pain and an infection is dangerous obviously. This is another concerning situation for children especially I feel.
      Good idea on the extra funds. I am a fan of saving in one area to build up another!
      Terri I am flat out learning too. You are doing really well using up what is available to you. This can call us to be inventive which is more learning! With love,

  44. Praying for you and your Lucy and her family just as soon as I hit publish.
    I canned three more cans of bread and butter pickles.
    I made 2 half gallons of refrigerator pickles.
    I had company overnight, so I did a lot of cleaning.
    Living in USA, praying that President Trump will continue to be our president and fight for our small businesses and our people.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. Dear Laura,
      I watch so much USA news as I have so many friends there now and think of you all. It really seems to be a battle of good and evil now. Also it affects us and we follow ... what happens there mostly happens here not far behind. Many things concern me greatly like the whole defunding of the police in places and riots and looting. And dont get me started on the media! Keep praying and I will too. With love

  45. Dear Annabel I am sure that there will be some exemptions to the border closures and pray that you will be able to see Lucy and the grandchildren and that Sidney can go to the pediatrician too :).

    You were very productive in collecting lots of lovely fabric and blankets for your Dad and I am sure he loved them. The face masks are gorgeous and I am sure that your uncle will love the face masks you have made him. The baking and cooking you are doing along with dehydrating will set not only yourselves but other family members up nicely too and I am sure they appreciate all that you do.

    We got back from Brisbane on Friday and DH went well during the procedure. Now just waiting for the results to come back later this week. Our RSL accommodation was nice and we were supplied meals each evening and they had fruit,cereals and milk available too.

    I have officially turned into a country bumpkin and didn't want to go to too many shopping centres or supermarkets while I was there in the city as many were not social distancing so we just got some essentials and got out of there quickly. Everywhere was so busy and packed with people so I felt very uneasy to be honest considering the current situation. We are so glad to be back on our country property away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $812.08 in savings last week :).

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 2 1/4 bunches of silverbeet from the gardens saving $10.13 over buying it. We blanched and froze it in meal sized portions for the freezer.

    Trading/bartering -
    - We traded a bunch of homegrown silverbeet and saved egg cartons for a dozen free range eggs from a local neighbourhood friend saving $4.50 over buying them.

    In the kitchen -
    - When home we cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased a set of good 7pce set of Damashiro kitchen knives, a steel and sharpener recommended by a chef friend on special and coupled with a 15% further discount code saving in total $593.50 on usual prices. We paid for these out of some of our tax refund as they have been a planned purchase for sometime.
    - Bought chicken burgers and a jar of masterfoods seafood sauce on markdowns saving $3.95 on usual prices.

    Accommodation whilst away -
    - Saved $200 by staying at RSL accommodation rather than staying in a motel for 2 days.

    Finances -
    - Deposited our tax refund into our home maintenance fund so now we have enough money saved to get our house stump replaced, inside ceiling panels repaired and tanks stand shed beams reinforced and also are 35.64% of the way there to getting our solar panels installed for the home too to cut down on electricity costs.
    - Paid an extra months mortgage payment off the home loan from our tax refund.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I was thinking of you on Wednesday and praying. I was sewing in the afternoon and thought of your day.
      Lucy got a letter from the paediatrician and attacked it to her application and it was denied. Now are are trying other things.
      I have to do a city trip. I anticipate feeling the same as now what I was used to seems too crowded, too pushy, and I think I will do what I have to and be glad to be out!
      You did well on the knives! Knives are a good investment. Also good to have a suggestion from a chef.
      It is great about the tax refund ad getting the work done on the house. I need to do my tax. I better get on to that. Normally I do right away but this year there have been major distractions!
      With free range eggs and spinach you are set. I will be hoping to hear of good results from your husbands tests. With much love,

    2. Thank you Annabel we so appreciated your prayers for DH. Apart from some discomfort for him lying still for 4 hours as it was necessary for the test he did well when they helped him turn to alleviate the pain.

      With Lucy and Sidney's pediatrician can the pediatrician travel to them for a home visit ?. The reason I am suggesting this is that doctors can travel over the borders as they have a medical exemption to do so as part of their job. I know this as we have a few close friends who are doctors.

      I hope your city trip goes well and you get what you need and get out as we did :).

      Thank you for your encouragement.

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  46. Annabel,
    My prayers are for you and your family and for resolutions to some of the restrictions that are getting set forth. You got this! One day at a time. I am not facing being cut off from family as of yet I know, but keep your chin up sometimes good things happen even under the worst of circumstances.
    I don't think this is it either so continue with preparing as best I can. There is always something we can do.
    I am also drying bread ends and a few veggies, but canning is my biggest priority at the moment. I just finished canning the last of the green beans and pulled them up and planted more along with peas. The tomatoes are ripening and we've picked a fair few of those too and the first batch has been put in the freezer after quartering them and adding peppers, onions, and garlic. Most of the the rest I will be canning and making juice and sauce. I froze some zucchini and put some in the attic on a tray to dry.
    I experimented with a very expired cake mix and it turned out great! It was given to me and my intent was to turn it into chicken food so this was a win.
    I added to the compost with kitchen scraps and spent a lot of time in the garden. I also had two of the grandkids and they kept me on my toes. Haha I give them chores and they love it. Plus I hope I am teaching them valuable skills. I cut a sponge in half and gave them each a sink to clean. Addie is very thorough because she loves to make things soapy.
    I picked up more good sized sticks to add to the kindling and also added two more boxes of matches to the supplies. Once the garden is done I will be going flat out to get ready for winter!
    You do so well at the op shops and I love all of the things you are making for your uncle and the baby and the blankets for you dad will be so nice to cover up with. It's the simple things!
    I am just now trying to make something, haha with a fork! I'll let you know how it goes.

    1. Dear Vicky, Thank you. You are busy just now. Very busy. I feel amazed how fast it seems since you planted to now you are canning! I love how Addie likes making things soapy! Point her at the bath, the sink... she can come here!
      I was very happy you got to have the Grandkids and see your son too. It made it a good week. And yes you are teaching them a lot!
      Now we got to have a good new week. With love,

  47. Has anyone considered Ignatia for stress and worry? Homeopathy is available at health food stores and on Amazon besides other sites dedicated just to remedies. 200c twice a day or 1M once a day would be good during this time.

    I started my journey using homeopathy when I read a comment on this blog, link that was included to Joette Calabrese site, back when Annabel was starting to beef up her medical cupboard.

    I'll link a few sites below in case anyone wants to pursue it ....

    1. Pam thank you. I have some. I believe in homeopathy. Look at the Queen Mother, Prince Phillip and the Queen... they have all used Homeopathy and they seem to go on forever living active lives. Anyway I use rescue remedy also. Thank you for the links. I try to keep up supplies as they ned to be on hand in the situation! With love

  48. Oh Annabel ❤️ What a hard situation! I do think things are going to get worse in the USA but things are pretty much wide open right now except for a few new ways of doing things and we are supposed to wear masks but so many people don’t.
    I like your baby bibs. I sewed and used many bibs when my grands were babies.
    Hugs to you ❤️

    1. Dear Rhonda, I had fun making the bibs. I know they are usual for that messy stage! It is a weird situation. One I never ever imagined. There hopefully is a prize at the end of the year for making it through 2020! With love

  49. Dear Annabel

    Such a distressing time for your family. One can only imagine how this will impact not only the adults but especially the girls who are so used to seeing you. You are all in our thoughts.

    Our neighbour have family in Victoria an speak at least daily and she told me they all are just sounding so down with the whole situation and how quickly the rules just keep changing and everyone is so confused. I do wonder how the elderly keep up with the changing situation.

    I am sure your gifts of masks in this time will be much appreciated.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Thanks Aly,
      I think because of Victorias population and the huge amount of economy it contributes that every Australian is affected now or will be by what is happening there. I agree it probably is much harder for anyone old/less good with technology etc. I hope you wont need them but some of your remnants might be handy for masks! Also elastic is sought after so they and have some on hand. Thanks so much Aly, with love

  50. Praying for you and your family Annabel. I know your trusting in God. You are blessing many who see you weathering this storm.


  51. You've had quite the week! I certainly hope this week is better.

    There seem to be issues everywhere. I am in Indiana, USA and this week has been interesting. My niece, who is her last year of high school, received a call that she had been in close contact with someone with Covid. She was instructed to quarantine for fourteen days. Her dad was sent home from work to quarantine also. My sister, who works at the hospital, was told she could continue to work.

    Everything is very confusing. One place says handle Covid this way and other places says another way. No wonder we can't get it under control!

    I went shopping Monday and added some more to the pantry. I plan to do an inventory again this week and see what else I might need to add. I continue to see empty shelves and announcements of shortages. With us heading into fall and then winter I don't forsee that improving.

    As hard as thing may be, or become, all we can do is keep moving forward.

  52. I feel your pain Annabel. I live in regional Vic and it's tough. My sister and small niece live in Melbourne metropolitan area and we are unable to see each other. On top of that my mum lives in Townsville so who knows when the borders will open to be able to see my mum. It's hard and I can imagine how hard it is with your border now closing

  53. Dear Annabel,
    I am so sorry you a d your family are you going through this.She when I read your post I immediately thought bulldozers a new drive way like every one else. I also Thu about both sets of my grandparents moved there farm house. One when they sold highway frontage. They just moved it a short distance.My other grandpa welded giant I was under the farm house taped the cupboards shut hook it up the the simitruck and moved it 2 Midland broke very few thing's.
    Much love Patti from San Diego


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