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.

Friday 4 September 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 4th September, 2020.

I am late with my post but I am going to make it a much happier one.   Very much happier.

I have had to take things day by day.  Probably that applies to us all.  Have a plan and do your best day by day.

Some of the ways I was able to build up the home, pantry and garden were:

I was given more lovely lemons.

I found the softest flannelette sheet in the op shop.  I am thinking it would make lovely pyjama pants for the girls.  I do a kind of easy  pyjama set by using a very soft t shirt/or long sleeve version  for the top and then make pants out of something very soft for the bottom.  This is a kind of Peter Alexander copy.  So easy!

Mum gave me wheat for my chickens.
I was also given corn so I am ahead for chicken food.

I made up a dozen ham and cheese rolls for the freezer and gave my son in law half.

On the road side I found two Rosemary bushes that are sprawling out over the ground.  I have had my eye on them for a while!   I stopped and lifted up some of the rosemary across the bottom on the ground and sure enough it had root systems.   The first time I got five bits and potted them up to get the root systems further established.

Yesterday I got 14 more little plants ready to go.   I am so pleased.  I have many gaps I can fill with Rosemary as it does well here.   I can give the girls some for their gardens.   And maybe use some as gifts or as a swap.

I was on the road yesterday as I got to see Lucy and the kids.   It was a wonderful day.    Sidney has grown, the girls were so excited.  I was able to catch up with them all.

Also a long day!  I shopped and ran errands on the way home and dug up my rosemary!  It was dark when I got back.

Now I get to tell you (finally) other good news....

Chloe and Luke are expecting a baby NEXT MONTH!
Dad of course knew about this and he was so happy.   Chloe has always wanted lots of babies.

Ok back to my list...

I was given bags of shredded paper and also three old crates.  Combined I now have three new nesting boxes for the chickens full of soft texting material.  I think they like it.

I cut Andy's hair. 

There were apples that needed using up. I used some with a roast and froze some portions.

My pantry really grew.  This was Dad providing again.  He travelled with extensive kits of shelf stable foods.   Most to that is now in my emergency pantry.   He said his aim was to throw the stone down the road.  Should this food be needed in a crisis he will have done that again.

I owe lots of people correspondence and replies and I am gradually getting there.  I am so appreciate of all the kindness and love.   Thank you so much.  

With everything that happened I was unable to get my baby goats.  The lady was lovely and allowed me to wait and pick from the next ones born which is really soon.  So I am excited that I can still go ahead and this is lovely to look forward to.

We also had rain.  This is always good news and everyone is pleased.   My lambs are doing well.  They are not interested in bottles and are eating.  I have a big yard of  beautiful green grass so they munch away happily all day.   

How did you manage to feather your nest this week?  I hope you were able to add to your pantry and I know many are harvesting... while we are just in Spring and soon will be planting.  I think next week I can begin planting up my raised garden beds.   And they are full and ready!   So working away bit by bit gets things done.  I never thought those beds would be full!   

Have a lovely


  1. Dear Annabel, I am so happy that your week was lovely. Seeing Lucy, the little girls and Sidney
    I have been waiting to see a photo of Chloe and she is looking fabulous
    I sold some eggs this week, visited my elderly frail Aunt, and had afternoon tea with my childhood girlfriend at her house, this was a wonderful catchup
    My best for the week is I had saved enough money to buy my first oils, so happy
    Our wiltipol ewes have nearly finished lambing just four young ewes to go. So
    Much fun watching them play
    Husband has been working on tidying up the veggie garden, I will start sowing seeds of our summer veg it is still to cold here to plant out yet

    1. Dear Lorraine,
      Thank you yes Chloe is looking really good. Well done on your egg sales! It is great that you can invest in some oils. Truly oils are a game changer. Well I found so. And a learning thing and a "see what agrees with you" thing.
      Oh the lambs would be beautiful. How lovely! I hope soon you can plant. There has been a real shift here, it feels warmer... I want to plant but also I am thinking of summer heat which I hate! I will just have to make the most of Spring. With love

  2. Hello Annabel and all the lovely ladies in the bluebird nation! So glad you are able to see Sidney and the girls this week. Ongratulations to Luke and Chloe on their expected bundle of joy! Many blessings for sure. This week we hit the case lot sales and stocked the pantry with a case each of peanut butter, pasta sauce, knorr noodle sides, tuna, green beans, and various seasoning mixes. Also sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, oil, flour, oatmeal and lemonaide drink mix. I have been dehydrating chicken, mushrooms spring onions, zucchini, 3 pounds of fresh garlic (fits in a mayonnaise jar go figure) and potatoes (30 pounds!). I still have more onions, apples, more potatoes, celery, carrots and green beans. Lots of stuff I know but I don't want anything to go to waste and I feel led to stock up and do what I can to not waste resources. Craft wise I have been crocheting dish clothes and pot holders for Christmas gifts I will pair with dish towels. I'm almost don't with those. Much love to you all ! Gaila in the NW

    1. Dear Gaila,
      I would love this case lot shopping! Wow! You got wonderful things. That is fantastic, a lot to add and great to have.
      I think your Christmas gifts will be beautiful and you are doing well in being ahead with this. I have put away a lot during the year but need to get it all out and have a review. Thank you so much, with love,

  3. Congratulations Chloe and Luke!
    And spring time is such a perfect time for planting, something I’m enjoy at the moment too

  4. Hello Annabel So nice to see yr fam photos Big congrats to Chloe & Luke

  5. Dear Annabel,
    How wonderful for Chloe, Luke, yourself and of course the rest of the family. Lovely to you got to see Lucy, the girls and Sydney. In these covid times these moments are cherished. Your Dad certainly knew what he was doing in making sure that you were all set up on the land and safely out of the city. It shows how much he loved you all and his foresight. Certain world events probably guided some of his decisions and thoughts I'm sure. Your own sense to build your emergency pantry and supplies when you were living in the city show the same.
    I have been busy working in the garden over the past 3-4weeks. It's looking good. The vege garden is now ready for planting, which my Dad guides me with, although I remember a surprising amount now. The rest of the garden is just about finished with weeding and then I will mulch. The lawn is ready to be top dressed and leveled out. The earthquakes left it uneven and finally after all these years I am sorting it out.

    The best part of my week is that I recieved medical clearance to drive again. Oh happy days. Back to op shopping and sourcing bargins. Makes to and from work less tiring without catching two busses.

    Have another good week Annabel and also fellow Bluebirds.


    1. Dear Mandy,
      It is so nice your Dad has helped you with your gardening. It sounds like you have learned well. Congratulations about your drivers licence! It is good to have that freedom. And yes op shopping! I am hoping to get to two op shops tomorrow. Apart from that the two buses would be a bit of a pain so I am so glad for you.
      Thank you Mandy for your kind comment. With much love

  6. It sounds like you are doing well, and I'm glad for that. I don't have a lot to report this week, but there's this--

    * I'm harvesting a lot of tomatoes (including tons of cherry toms), zucchini and beets (and the beet greens, which we had for dinner last night).

    * I made a gathered skirt for one of my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (girl, 10-14). I had everything I needed in my stash, which is a good thing, since fabric is hard to get since Covid. I have a goal of sewing something every general, not just for OCC.

    * I made soup stock with beef bones and some tired vegetables. I baked the bones in the oven first because it makes a cleaner broth.

    * My daughter and I both got new glasses at Costco. They are by far the cheapest place--at least $100 less per pair than anywhere else. I had cataract surgery two years ago and only need to wear glasses for reading, but finding them, putting them on, taking them off, etc., drives me crazy. I never minded bifocals, so I am going back to them with clear lenses on top. Besides, they will hide the dark circles under my eyes.

    * Frugal fail--I made a big batch of cooked salsa because I have more jars than freezer space. Unfortunately, we didn't like it. AT ALL. The recipe called for vinegar, presumably to make the peppers and onions acidic enough to can, but all we could taste was the vinegar. (It even overpowered the peppers!). I didn't bother with processing and fed it to the compost instead. I still have a ton of tomatoes, though.

  7. Dear Annabel , wonderful news all round that you got to see Lucy and kids , and Chloe is looking so radiant with Luke by her side. Lovely family photos of you all.
    You've done so well carrying on keeping home and hearth running smoothly .
    I made lemon curd with lemons given and gave some tomato relish back as a thankyou. And gave lemon curd to another who gave me cucumbers and zucchinis awhile back.
    Our daughter's birthday (she and family living with us) was at the beginning of last week , we had a family fish and chips dinner here with our eldest son ,daughter in law and our grandson 6 joining us .I made a big chocolate banana cake and decorated it with Irish chocolates ,buttercream icing , pink candles and a Happy Birthday sign , that went down well with all .
    I mended the knees on 3 pants of my grandson who lives here , he's 8 and holes in knees are pretty regular occurrence . Filled a box with snacks for Father's day gift for hubby , for his garage where he likes to hide away with the noisy household we have at this time .
    Tidied all the bits and pieces I keep for travelling and repacked my toiletry makeup bag for carryon luggage , and another for local travel as we are travelling north in a month and taking 2 eldest grandchildren with us ages 7 and 8 .
    Took my elderly mother in law for a gadabout , she shouted us lunch .
    Tomorrow Sunday is Father's day here in NZ and we are having a family lunch here ,Ive made small meringues to have with fresh fruit salad and cream. And we will have chicken, coleslaw, tomatoes, salad leaves, cheese, carrot , beetroot . breads and rolls as that is what my family want rather than me cooking a roast dinner and so on.
    There will be 3 dads at our lunch table so Ive bought 3 Toblerone for them as a wee token .
    Im full of sneezes today at the beginning of Spring here , I hope that's all it is .
    Have also started putting Christmas gifts together , from my gift box and wrote up names with gifts as Id forgotten what I had , so much stuff moved into our bedroom now that I spread over two spare rooms now occupied by family , and youngest is in the office so we are constantly moving things around as he's growing and stretching and getting into mischief . When his dad got him out of bed this morning he was sitting with the white noise phone , he'd managed to somehow pull the cord his way with phone. He thinks outside the box and he's 20 months!Also in his cot was one long length curtain, one of his boots and a sock. It's a small room and he;s worked out if he flings his softtoys he can reach items . Did I mention he' s a climber too ;-) keeping us on our toes !
    Happy Father's day to all the men in our lives.
    And good health and calm to all , with love Maria xxx

  8. Annabel I am so very happy you had a much better week and how lovely you got all that lovely rosemary to pot up from the side of the road. The lavender flowers and so pretty on them aren't they.

    What wonderful news for everyone about Chloe's baby and I am glad your Dad knew about it too. You kept that under wraps so well from us all :) . So glad you were able to see Lucy, the girls and Sidney too how very special.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $253.94 in savings last week :).

    Finances and exciting news -

    - We saved up enough for our solar system to be installed in the home and the company will be here on Monday to install it :). We did wipe out a considerable amount of our home emergency cash fund to get there but still have our savings for our 6 month emergency fund in the bank. So excited.
    - Got bank interest on our 6 month living expenses emergency fund bringing us to 53.11% of the way there.

    In the home -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Deep cleaned all the vinyl floors in the home by mopping twice, once with soapy water and the second time with a disinfectant solution. The floors are sparkly and shiny once again.

    Purchases -
    - Wrangled a better deal with the company installing our solar by paying in cash and got $200 off and also in the price they will install a timer for the hot water system so it heats during the day using free power from the sun.
    - Found 3 trays of 4 chicken marylands weighing 3.608 kg on markdown for $3.65 a kg saving $7.74 on usual prices.
    - Bought Old gold chocolate on special and chocolate milk on markdown saving $3.70 on usual prices.
    - With the purchase of an e-gift card for a 5% discount, coupling half price and other specials and using a $10 off supermarket promotional code I was able to save $42.50 on usual prices and top up our pantry on a lot of items used during lockdown. I wait for groceries I know regularly come on special and top up on them then.

    In the gardens -
    - DH sprayed for weeds in the house yard.
    - I weeded another vegetable garden bed.
    - We split another 3/4's of a row of firewood and stacked it in the lean-to shed.

    Have a wonderful week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  9. Babies are such wonderful things and I am so glad your family is expanding. It is lovely that a child is wanted and will be cherished and loved.

    It is heartening to hear that your provisions are moving ahead. I would love to do more. My rosemary and lavender have died. A small rosemary survives but I must plant some more. This week I made jam and I tried to freeze some foods ahead. WhenI shopped this week I bought some crackers and some other things to add to the stores.

    God bless.

  10. To Annabel and Bluebirds, that is such wonderful news about Chloe and Luke! Congratulations to them and to the whole family. What a blessing this baby will be for the whole family. This baby will have cousins close in age too, which is lovely. I am so glad your Dad knew about this news too. You really are an inspiration with how you are continuing to put one foot in front of the other. I really loved the photo of you with your grandchildren- love in a photo! I went to the swap and came back with seeds and cuttings. I now have a number of things potted up, which I am excited about. I used up a pumpkin and made pumpkin soup for the freezer. I made some patty cakes today and worked on some crocheting. I also had a nap, which was nice. Thinking of you and love, Lily X

  11. Congrats on the soon to be grandbaby. What a lovely picture with the children. It does sound like you had a lovely week.
    Blessings my friend

  12. Good morning Annabel,
    Your grandchildren are beautiful and how happy that you will soon have one more ❤️

  13. Congratulations to all regarding the upcoming baby, though you did give more than a hint about it all a couple of months ago.
    I bought a new freezer, only a very small chest freezer, but along with my existing one it should do me nicely. This week I shall be doing lots of cooking and baking to fill it.
    I bought an over door storage unit from Aldi and it has revolutionised my kitchen! It's allowed me to store all sorts of things in a wasted space thereby freeing up other space. I even had a shelf leftover, which has now holds my tea, teaspoons etc in another previously wasted space.
    I have picked and am drying hops, to make some sleep pillows, being a poor sleeper these can't harm!
    Autumn has arrived here, it turned up last Friday night. There has been a subtle but definite change. I have to say that my fruit and veg growing has been very disappointing, a few strawberries, about 6 tiny courgettes (zucchini), 1 tomato (so far and it wasn't even nice) and some runner beans. The only thing that did well was raspberries. May was very sunny and hot, but still frosts at night, June and July were very wet, so nothing knew what to expect. I am not overly disheartened though, it's given me an idea about things I do want to grow, that I will eat, so to that end I have ordered some plum trees, which should arrive next week.
    Hope everyone has a good week and take care and stay safe.

  14. Annabel, so happy for you to see your family. Congratulations on your grandbaby to come!

    Rosemary can also be used around the perimeter of the house as a fire break, just so you know.

    1. I have an inquiring mind and am not trying to be argumentative, honestly, but rosemary contains volatile oils so I can't help but wonder how it acts as a firebreak?

  15. Babies are always wonderful news. Congratulations. My cousin adopted a baby girl this week. They have tried everything to have a baby and have been trying to adopt for over 2 years so we are all so excited. Can't wait to meet her. Glad you were able to see your grandkids. You need them right now. Have a wonderful week.

    1. My children were adopted 42 and 44 years ago and they have been the joy of our lives. Congratulations to your cousin!

  16. I am so, so happy for Luke and Chloe! Sidney is growing like a weed! I am glad to hear that you had a happier week. You are doing so well with adding to your home in spite of the way things are and how great is that that you could build your pantry from your Dad's saved supplies. Those PJ pants sound so cozy. Our grandchildren always need PJ's.

    This week we passed the 28 week mark for our new Baby Girl grandchild due in November. She wanted to come early at 20 weeks but the doctor was able to head off the early delivery. Now that she is 28 weeks she is fully developed and just growing so if she comes early now she will likely be okay. We have all been praying and holding our breath for 8 weeks. I think this little girl is going to have a mind of her own from day one!

    I have a half bushel of peaches ripening to get canned in small jars for just me. My husband does not care for them so I just do half pints for single servings for me through the winter. We picked many sale items this week for free or almost free. Some great deals are back at our grocery stores but we often go and find that what we wanted is just not available. It's okay. We have plenty here.

    Have a great weekend!

  17. Dear Annabel,
    What wonderful news for Chloe and Luke. Chloe is absolutely glowing. Sidney and his little cousin to be will be almost the same age and they will all be so close.
    So wonderful that you were able to visit Lucy and the children.
    Blessings, Laura

  18. Chloe and Luke (and baby) are a beautiful couple!! I just love them even tho I've not met them. Boy! Aren't Lucy's children flourishing?! What a happy, healthy bunch! Thanks to the Lord for helping Lucy thru her pregnancy and delivery at this time in history. Chloe, too! Your "just do the next good thing" is my mantra and surely helps in times of difficulty. Lord bless you and yours~xxMary

  19. Love the update, the photos and the wonderful news- congratulations to Chloe & Luke :)
    Much love,
    Heidi x

  20. I bought some fruit trees and my boys planted them for me. I now have an orchard in the front yard!
    The best of it is that one of the trees is a satsuma plum - my grandmother's favourite tree. I think I bought the very last one in Victoria - it was a real search because I left it so late in the season.
    I enjoy growing some of our food. :)

  21. Hooray, hooray,and hooray! Such a good news post! You and the girls look gorgeous, as do Chloe and Luke! So happy for you all.

    Guess what we found at the thrift shop here today for $3? A WWII Aussie digger felt slouch hat, just missing its puggaree!!! It's stamped 1944, and other than a little bit of wear on the leather hat band, it's in amazing condition. Love it!

    Thinking of you lots...glad to hear you had a happier week.

    xx Jen in NS

  22. Congratulations on the announcement of another little one to love! Great picture of you and the girls and Sidney. Glad you got to see them. I have a rosemary plant but don't use it for culinary purposes. I will have to research what else it can be used for. Nancy

  23. Annabel what a lovely cheery post to read. How wonderful that you have another baby to look forward to as well as your other lovely grandchildren. Spring is here, new life and hope. Barb

  24. Hello Annabel, I absolutely love your blog - I enjoy reading about your life - and there's so much useful information. Very inspiring. Congratulations re the babies and commiserations for your Dad. What a generous man.

    I saw your recommendation of Rain Country videos, which I'm working my way through, and wondered whether you've seen Homestead Tessie. She's living on a very small budget and also has lots of great tips.

    I live in Ireland and some are forecasting a bad winter. If there's also a 2nd wave of covid things could be in short supply, so we're stocking up more than usual, especially on dog food. The pet food shelves were almost empty last time.

  25. Beautiful picture of you and the grands, Annabel. I can tell the girls don't get too excited when you visit :D. Congratulations to Chloe and Luke. She looks radiant. So exciting to have a new baby to look forward to.
    This past week I finished the clean-up of the small pantry and cleared enough space for my canners and dehydrator which I have previously stored in the shop (that was very inconvenient). I put the canned items that need to be used first in a bucket and I'm planning my meals around those to use them up. It's dwindling fast!
    I had plenty of pots with plants that didn't make it so I emptied out all the potting soil, spread it in the sun to sterilize so I will be using it again. I learned it's okay to re-use it but wise to add some brand new to the mix. I cleaned the pots in a trough filled with water and clorox so they will be ready. We got beautiful rain the last few days and as soon as it dries up we will be tilling for the fall garden. I worked on clearing the front fence line of weeds and brush.
    There aren't too many bargains to be found in our local grocery store but I did luck on to bacon for $2 a pound so our freezer is stocked up now. I believe people are still preparing because I noted some shortages - one was canned fruit, even the store brand, and Walmart's frozen fruit section was almost bare! Annabel, I think you are so smart to glean what you can when you are out and about! I probably need to drive down some back roads. Sometimes old abandoned homesteads will have fruit trees that are still productive, even close to the road and accessible.
    I pray you all have a blessed and fruitful week!

    1. Dear Pam,
      Thanks so much.
      I am glad you could have a re arrange and fit things in. I am always amazed when I have a clean up and organised how much space I find. This is good!
      I am hearing one of the reasons for the canned fruit levels is an actual shortage of aluminium for the cans. I am not sure how true this is but everyone is telling me canned goods are low. I go the back roads everywhere I can. If I can go one way and come home another every better. I dont mind to knock at someone's door either and ask if I can pick fruit and I say I will return with a pie or jam. I have made friends this way! The blossoms now have led me to a few new finds I think/hope!
      Thanks so much Pam I hope you have a good new week too. With love

    2. I think you're right about the aluminum shortage because I heard the other day that aluminum scrap is bringing good money. I'm so glad you mentioned that about knocking on a door or two. That's what I love about this place. So many good ideas and inspiration to share! Last year in a small town near us I noticed a yard that was covered up in fallen oranges! I will be paying a visit and offer some orange marmalade in return if they allow me to glean :D. Thanks!

  26. MY goodness! Your family is growing and growing! Congratulations on the new baby coming. I think you look even happier than the girls in the photo of you with Lucy's children.
    This month we've decided NOT to buy groceries. Our reason is multifold but the money will be set aside and used next month to stock our pantry more heavily.
    I'm starting fall cleaning here and am doing a little at a time, not knocking myself flat with hard work.
    I just added a set of sheets to my linens cupboard. That was something I'd felt I needed to add in since I had two sheets need repairs during the shut downs.
    My mind is muddled having just had grandchildren 3 out of four days, lol, so I can't think.

    1. Dear Terri, I hear you on the muddled brain. I am starting Spring cleaning. Being awful outside today I got going. A lot of dusting so far. One thing leads to another..
      Nice sheets are always good to have. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! With love

  27. Congratulations on the new baby coming soon! What a blessing your dad had heard that news before his passing. I admire your keep doing the next thing outlook. It is very inspirational to me, as are all of the Bluebirds sharing their lives!

    We fixed our washer using YouTube so saved paying a repair person to make the trip.

    I’m using an older version of a book to participate in an online book club instead of buying the newer version.

    We were blessed with a LOT of free produce this week, probably 50 lbs worth. DH helped me pressure can the green beans and potatoes and ended up with 9 quarts of potatoes and 15 pints of beans.

    I got $7.50 back on Ibotta this week with stuff I was already buying, including 2 small items that will be stocking stuffers for the girls.

    Purchased pretty Pioneer Woman contact paper to decorate boxes for the cubby/shelf DH made for each of us in the closet. I was going to buy baskets and then realized how much cheaper it would be to buy some pretty paper and use boxes. We get quite a few boxes each month by doing some online shopping so a nice way to use those. I've done that before so not sure why that wasn't my first thought!

    More on my blog at

  28. Dear Annabel

    Congratulations goes to Chloe and Luke, you must be so excited. They look so lovely in that photo and Chloe is just glowing.

    Oh the joy for you being able to visit with the children, you all look amazing, such a special family photo.

    The end of next week sees school holidays upon us once again, so this week and next will be busy planning activities and cleaning so I can spend time with DD10.

    Not much crafting getting done for me at this point in time, too many webinars and events happening, learning about each oil and the benefits they have on health, but this will be great knowledge to have in the end.

    I am thankful that on busy days, I can go to the freezer and just pull out a frozen meal and know we are eating healthily from the work that has been put in prior to the busy days.

    Best wishes to you and the family
    Take Care
    Aly xxx

  29. Congratulations! So many blessings. I'm so happy to hear that Chloe and Luke are expecting! God is good!


  30. Congratulations on the upcoming birth of Luke and Chloe’s baby, I’m so happy for you and your family, Annabel! And what a blessing that you were able to see Lucy and the kids recently too! What lovely family photos! Hope you have a good rest of the week. Love, Teresa


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