Feather your Nest Friday, 30th October, 2020.

 Welcome to reflection Friday!  That is what it feels like to me today.  My brain has been really scrambled with lots of things going on and lots to think about.  To sit and go over the week that has been is very good. 

It was a lovely week.  Chloe, Luke and baby Thomas are home.  I was excited to see him and he is much smaller than I expected!  He is right on 7 lbs.  So that is not really so small, it just seems so little!   I helped Chloe yesterday give him his first bath at home.  No clothes = looks even smaller!   

I promised I would do the dinners for the first week.   That is my usual new baby deal.  I ran out of interest taking photos but here is night number one:

Tonight is lamb, Halloumi and salad.   I do the same for all of us.   Since Chloe is only 5 minutes away I sit it in a hot baking dish, cover with foil and wrap in a towel. It is piping hot when it gets there!  Andy did the delivery service last night! 

While Chloe was away things needed to be used.   She had left suddenly as the baby was early.  There were lemons, banana's and avocados all that would not make it until she was home again.   So I got baking. 

First I made six bananas into cakes and muffins. That took care of them.
The lemons I made into Lemon Butter (which later filled that sponge for the first night home) and most of the muffins went into the freezer.   Some will become Luke's work lunches.  

So things that could have been thrown out were put to good use first!    I have little tart shells so I am going to fill those with Lemon Butter and add strawberries on top.  That gives me another tray of deserts. 
On the preparedness front I purchased two things.  The first was solar phone charger.  I thought about this for a while and ordered one online.   AND I had already ordered a dehydrator.   I do a lot of air dehydrating ... just hanging herbs up to dry.  In winter I did a lot of dehydrating by the fire.  It worked perfectly!  But in summer I know I will have tomatoes and fruit and usually I use Chloe's dehydrator.  I thought I need one of my own.  When it arrived I was so excited!  Unboxing it was even fun!  I had a re arrange and have it set up somewhere it can live all the time.  I figure it is like the sewing machine... I sew more because I don't have to drag it out.  It is ready to go... 

I took my vacuum apart and gave it a major clean.  It is disgusting how filters etc get.  It runs so much better after I do this. 

Andy built a shed to go over our house generator.  This is really good to protect it and looks neat and tidy.
He also added four shelves into a cupboard for me.  This let me totally organise my fabrics and sewing items.   For him to do it first I had to empty the whole cupboard.  So there were fabrics spread everywhere.   A mess I thought it would take me a week to get out of!   But I was so keen I had it all done in a few hours and it has revolutionised my sewing room.  

Some of my seedlings that I have grown from seeds in cups were ready to be planted out.  So I added 6 cucumbers to the garden and 8 cherry tomato plants.

We have some grass in the driveway the sheep missed.   Mainly around the chook house which I want to keep low due to snakes.   So I moved my cows there to feast on it.   Moving them is fairly hilarious as if I go too fast they don't follow me.  If I go too slow they put their head in the car window.  If one lags behind  and I slow down then Laffie is first to run like a racehorse to say hello to me as I drive! 

It is not overly easy to drive and take a photo but I think who is going to believe me?  So I tried to get photos.  

Then when I dare shut the gate this is what I get...

It's nice to be loved.  💗

I started working on adding more good soil to my veggie garden and surrounding all my young fruit tress with enough compost and soil to make a kind of moat that I can fill with water.  I got six done so far.  I feel like I only have 900 more barrow loads of soil to cart!  But seriously if I do one or two loads a day it soon adds up and I can manage that.

We had rain.  It was lovely and a help.

We are almost into November!  I feel like my year was January (bushfires) then Covid.  We had the birth of Sidney.   Dads great joy over him and so much happiness.  Not long later we had Dad's death.   Then we  had the birth of Thomas.  But so much of the year is a blur then November!  
A few times I have mentioned the feeling that everyone is tired, everyone has some kind of crisis fatigue.  I have said how this is a bit dangerous as we can take our eye off the ball.   I still feel a great need to be prepared and stocked up.  But so much has happened at times it is hard to think straight!  

Somewhere in the last week I read a comment from a lady who said something that really captured my attention.   She said she is preparing and stocking her pantry and she said how she prayed for God to SHOW HER what He had for her to add to her pantry.     She was open to whatever He sent.  She was ready to act on whatever it was.   She was grateful in advance as she knew it would be something!   
Many times we have talked about praying before we shop.   Praying for the things we are needing.   I like to pray to see opportunities... as opportunities come but we may not see them or realise!  

Dad left a note on his fridge.  It said "Work with HEAD and HANDS." 
I am trying to to that.    It is time to think, assess, plan... and take every opportunity.

How did you build up your home, pantry, garden... emergency fund or any other beneficial thing this week?   

Have a weekend with enough peace and quite to allow you to think.xxx


  1. Annabel that sounds like a lovely week. You accomplished so much, and with joy and gladness! Little Thomas is gorgeous, and I love your idea of doing the dinners for the first week for new mum and dad. Wayne's Aunty (of Elaine's Easy Pastry fame) filled our freezer with meals and desserts when each of our three were born. She'd come over a few days after we came home, armed with groceries and pots and pans and foil freezer trays, lunch and afternoon tea and she'd cook and chat with me for a half a day, kiss the babies and go home. It was such a blessing, and I've always thought I'd like to do the same. You'll love the dehydrator, ours go constantly - yep, kept the small one when we bought the bigger one. On Sunday I put 3.5kg mince in to dry, and then pressure canned 7kg of mince for the pantry. Had planned to do chicken but ran out of oomph. This week more garden work - added 9 more tomato seedlings to the big garden, and eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and basil (to replace what was eaten). Then we transplanted 7 fruit trees into bigger pots. I think I over did it, that afternoon a migraine started and that put a stop to everything. Today is my first day up and about since Sunday and the first day I've been able to see properly. We had a little rain, more would be nice, but I'll take whatever comes, every drop of rain is one of tap water we don't need to use. Oh, and we came out of the hard lockdown. Still have travel restrictions, but shops are open, and we can leave home for any reason now. I'm still building pantries, and the gardens, and I'm not going to stop. I think everyone is becoming immune to the signs of hard times. I heard earlier this week that Australia is out of recession - baloney! It takes months to fall into a recession and months, if not years, longer to get out of one. I once said during an interview that you don't need to be particularly clever to fiddle the figures to make them look good, and I believe that's what is happening. We need to stay alert and watchful and not take anything at face value. Every single thing we can do to build our pantries, and become debt free is one step closer to being prepared, and you can never be too prepared. Have a lovely weekend, and enjoy little Thomas. xxx Cath

    1. How lovely that your Aunt did that for each one of your three children. What a gift and what a great lady! Love, Lily

    2. Dear Cath, Aunty Elaine sounds like a beautiful lady. What a helpful and kind thing to do. To me the first weeks home are a big thing. Getting off to a good start is valuable.. a little help can make a big difference.
      Cath you did a lot. A bad migraine by the sounds of it. I hope you are feeling much better. It is very hard to pace yourself when you want to get so much done and are so determined!
      I am very happy for you with the eased up restrictions. Especially the 5 k rule...
      I heard the same about the recession. They dont have any idea yet how many jobs were lost, homes, businesses they ahem no idea... it won't come out until bankruptcies are declared and job keeper is over... so to say such a thing was a joke. They think we are dim. I think a few shocks are in store. We continue to try to get ahead and think ahead! Thank you Cath I really hope you are feeling better. With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Oh Annabel isn't Thomas lovely!!! How nice for them to be home. I don't know if I've ever said this Annabel, but it really warms my heart when you post about the cooking you do for your girls. It is truly the best way to show you care I think. And there is no nicer way for a new mum to come home than to beautiful cooked meals. And dessert!! I'm sure it is hugely appreciated.

    I agree with you about the year being a bit of a blur. I have been ordering Christmas presents lately, and especially focusing on things I can do to avoid big postage costs. I'm fairly confident that I will be all sorted by the end of November, as anything I've ordered online should arrive by then. I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year, I think it seems like it deserves a bit of extra effort! We are not going to be travelling, which is a huge relief.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend with plenty of newborn cuddles! And that Chloe and Luke manage to get some rest as well, it is so tiring getting used to a new baby!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen,
      I think the biggest life adjustment is coming home with your first baby! Everything is a whole new ball game! I know you will be a Mum to help your kids with all these life stages when they are older. You will be making crochet blankets for grandchildren like me!
      I think Christmas will be a real time of reflection and sort of celebration for making it! We will be having a completely different Christmas and starting new traditions. Two new little boys and Dad not here. It will be very different. But it is important to celebrate and be grateful. We will go to lots of trouble to make it special especially for the kinds... and thing makes it special for everyone!
      Thank you Jen. I am happy as I have seen both babies this week! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. What a precious little baby, Annabel! Congratulations! My cousin informed me today (when updating me on his father's recovery from a massive stroke) that they are expecting another baby. Babies are always such blessings, but especially so in these tough times. We must remember that there is always still good in the world, no matter how tired we are of hearing the same depressing, bleak news.
    We got ahead this week with some extra things for our pantry. The chicken coops were covered with sturdy new roofs (from free wooden pallets) so they have more protection from these anticipated hail storms and from the hot, summer sun. The rain has been good but I'm looking at all these long grasses and feeling a bit apprehensive. I also picked up some really good cotton fabric from Vinnies to make some aprons for gifts for Christmas. We recently had a TK Maxx open up near us and we got some lovely food gifts at very cheap prices! I find that food gifts are always welcome and perfect for older relatives who already have everything. My mother-in-law told me that Costco was crazy busy today and that they won't be getting their turkey until TWO WEEKS before Christmas. I can't imagine going shopping then! Madness! So glad we have our turkey and were able to pick up a few other bits and pieces for Christmas lunch. I am more than ready to hunker down this summer and ride out the crazy Christmas frenzy! Have a great weekend. Kirsty

    1. Dear Kirsty,
      You wooden chicken coop roofs sound really good. I love these kind of improvements and that you used pallets!
      I hope you didn't get the huge hail! I saw photos on the news! So dangerous.
      I want my Christmas shopping done long before the last two weeks too! I dont like the crowds at all. Get me out of there! The long grass around here is a concern too. We had the sheep to eat down ours. Some nut case did burning off today and it was 31. And it got away into the scrub! I could see a huge amount of smoke... and I think they have it container but this Brough back memories or January and our fire and I am not impressed.
      Getting some nice fabric was good! This is the way to get it!
      I hope you have another good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Annabel, those cows are so gorgeous and you can tell how much they love you. LOL! I need to sort through my pantry as I had it all organised when we had our renovations done but my hubby has added this and that from the supermarket so it needs reorganising as it is two years since the new kitchen was put in and I thought then that I would never fill the pantry. Well it didn't take long...with a bit of help :-) How lovely to see little Thomas. I am sure you are over the moon with having him live so close and he will get lots of hugs.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      It is kind of cute. The goat loves me too. I have to feel good when I am so popular lol
      It doesn't seem like two years since you had your lovely new kitchen go in!
      Little bits sure do add up! And grabbing the good deals and stashing them away is a good saving. Thank you, I have seen Thomas everyday! Yes they are close by so this will be really good. Have a very good new week Nanna Chel, with love Annabel.xxx

  5. How absolutely precious is young Thomas, and what a blessing you live so close to Chloe that you can supply all those meals AND dessert. Love the cows - truly, they are family aren't they?!
    Well done on the fabric shelving and the fruit trees. Organisation is marvellous, and so are the jobs like your fruit trees where a wheelbarrow load each day soon adds up. We're not meant to burn ourselves out (something I have done too many times, but no more) but chip away at things bit by bit, walk step by step, and yes - think and plan. This past week I have not been able to get past Luke chapter 15 and Jesus directive that we should 'count the cost'...I find this covers all areas of my life and is having an enormous impact on my thinking, plans, and prayers.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Annabel.

    1. Dear Jenny, I replied and it disappeared! Well I went and read Luke 14. The whole thing of counting the cost and paying the price is quite a study! I can see this applies to pretty much everything we do and every choice we make. So you have me thinking on this too.
      Thank you so much and yes the cows are surprisingly wonderful pets! I did two wheel barrow loads today. Just right for me, otherwise I indeed pay the price! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. What a gorgeous tiny sweet baby boy 💙 Yes it has been an exhausting year with so many unknowns but seeing this much loved boy just makes me happy. You are so amazing to feed everyone.

    1. Dear Rhonda,
      Thank you! Yes we are blessed with the new babies and the children. Helping them off to a good start in some small ways is a bit of an investment.... building good foundations I always say!
      It sure has been a tiring and challenging year though, I agree! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,
    Congratulations to you and Chloe and Luke on the birth of Thomas. He is absolutely beautiful. It is certainly a testament to your Dad 's love and character that he has two grandson's that carry his name. Having Chloe and Luke so close you will get plenty of baby snuggles, which I think is the best prescription for these stressful times. Seeing the cows and their antics brought a big smile to my face. Animals do have such personalities.

    Things we did this week were mostly garden related. After harvesting and pulling out old plants we added shredded paper, compost and recyclable boxes to the empty spots in the raised beds and discovered that our soil in the raised bed had a lot of earthworms that found their way in naturally.
    I prepared more broccoli for the freezer, made 6 pints of no'mato sauce for the freezer from the carrots and beets, oregano, basil,garlic from the garden and bone broth that was in the freezer. Our ventures away from home are few and far between and mostly to the farm market to pick up odds and ends. I loved the lady's comment you told us about as it reinforces that God is our provider. I feel that having prayed before the pandemic really hit the US I wouldn't have known months before hand to stock up on disinfectant, OTCs, and other things. Today I'm planning to have a baking day and refill my husband's stash of English muffins, and make a new recipe I found for a flourless apple bread that uses gluten free oatmeal instead of flour. Wishing everyone a good week ahead. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Thank you! Yes it be nice that little Thomas is so close for me and also Mum to see him often. I am honestly surprised how funny cows are! And the chickens... there are no 9 in the fancy new house that are range every day. I ht evening 8 coming running and go in just perfect. There is one who just sits there and waits to be carried. I have no idea why! There always has to be one difficult one!
      You have lots put away in the freezer and done very well with your produce! I do think we can seek direction of what to do next, to see opportunities... and pray to make the most of what comes our way. I really had to stop and ask for guidance on what should I focus on next. Step by step we have made improvements in many areas. I have some new seedlings to plant tomorrow. Another thought is to do what in in your hands. ie I have eggs and cream... I need to get on with making the most of these. We can be good stewards of all that comes our way! I hope your new week is off to a good start! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. What a blessing baby Thomas is to you all! No matter what is going on in the world he is there to be cuddled and loved and all the troubles will just fade away. I love your Dad's quote and indeed that is what we must do! He left you all so much wisdom. Since my Dad died in May I have often thought of all the things he taught me that were so practical and wise. We were both so blessed by our Dads.

    We had an interesting week. The end of last week a small town near us posted on Facebook that they were giving away recycling bins that were no longer in use and to just come and get them. My husband went right over there and picked up the limit of twelve. When he brought them home I saw that they were huge and really thought we had no use for them. Then I realized that we now had twelve raised garden beds for free and they already have drain holes and everything! We have some half rotten fire wood to fill the bottoms of them to start.

    Sunday we went to the lake and were enjoying time away until the remnants of a hurricane came through here and knocked out our power and took down three large trees between the house and the lake. So we had to pack up and come home where we do have power. While we were there we found 100 foot garden hoses on clearance for $5 each. One is for us and one for each of our three boys for Christmas. Then we found one pound packages of gourmet spaghetti on clearance for 25 cents a pound. We already had a good supply at home so we only bought ten. There were also racks of clothing marked down by 65% so I added some tops to my wardrobe for less than I could buy the fabric. I was sad that we did not get to the thrift stores but all of the area was without power when we came home with no end in sight.

    Grocery prices are getting crazy high here. I sometimes look at the ads and think the prices are a misprint. I am so very thankful for our discount stores where we are still finding things for way below retail. We are finishing up going through and organizing the pantry spaces so now we know what we have and what we need. I am happy to say that we are well stocked. We do have room in our bread flour buckets for another 25 pounds.

    We plan to do a big shop this weekend and stay home for the week of our elections. Many are saying there will be unrest afterwards so we would rather just stay home and be safe. We have been getting our news on the elections from your news stations as they are more reliable and not biased.

    Wishing you all a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      The bins re proposed into planters is a great idea! What a deal on the garden hoses! It was a shame about your time away cut short but I would have returned home too!
      You had good bargains for the week... and yes this is the way to shop as some prices are going crazy! I also have seen some prices that I have questioned... they have gone up so much!
      Lana I followed the election all day and know there is no current winner. So it might be a while. I was so nervous at times I had to just go out in the garden for a while!
      I hope things remain safe and calm. With much love Annabel.xxx

  9. Hi Annabelle, What a lovely post! Thomas is so precious and your meals look scrumptious. I don't know how you manage to do it all. I love that last picture of your cows. Animals like to be loved too. When I was young I would get in the pen with the calves and love them. You will love having your own dehydrator. I really like mine. They are good for old people like me to preserve things. A solar charger sounds neat. We are trying to find the right connection so we could charge ours in the car. Thanks for sharing your life and tips. Hope your next week is wonderful too. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, From your experience you understand how nice calves are! They re just gorgeous! And affectionate! A car charger is really handy to have. These alternatives are good back ups. Thank you for your comment... I am having busy but lovely days! I hope your week is going well too... I followed the election all day! I am having to give up and go to bed now not knowing the winner! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Welcome to the world, Thomas! So happy for you and your family on this new little one, Annabel! It is so nice to see him.

    It has been an expensive, but good, week here. My husband and I both used our health insurance to have some imaging done. It would have been over $10,000 if we had to pay out of pocket; as it was I was able to pay for both of our co-pays with a check and am thankful. I also paid the balance on a lamb and 1/2 beef that will be delivered in 2 weeks - even though it is a large amount up front, this fills out standing freezer with lots of healthy protein, we are able to support a local farm and know where our food is coming from and what it is eating, and it actually works out to less per pound than if we bought it from the store ($5.99/lb for the meat plus processing). They also bring me soup bones, which I love using for bone broth. We also paid my husband's graduate tuition and were thankful that his workplace pays for half - this saved us over $600 this semester alone. Our Vickie challenge is kind of a silly amount this week (I am totally counting what insurance paid for our medical stuff and the other half of his tuition!). :)

    To build up my home, I did a lot of cleaning and organizing and washed all of the rugs and linens. We had an ice storm at the beginning of the week, so it was a good time to just stay indoors and work on those things. I used my stash to work on some holiday cross stitch pieces, added to my scrap yarn blanket, and baked up some cookies, hamburger buns, and waffles for the freezer. Tomorrow I am doing a grocery pickup of some spices, dry goods, and items for the baking part of my pantry so that we will be in good shape for the winter holidays and won't have to go shopping, since pandemic cases are increasing in our metro again.

    I hope everyone has a good week and stays warm!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      To get your freeze full of beef and from the farmer are both very good things.
      You also had some major savings!
      It seems early for an ice storm! I cant even imagine that ! I do think it is smart fro be ready as if winter brings more sickness then you can be safe and sound and well out of it! Sorry I have been so slow to reply. Your week sounded full of lovely things! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. What a beautiful little boy! And the cow pictures cracked me up!

    Two years ago, when I didn't really need any jeans, I bought several pairs on clearance for $4.99 each. I finally got around to shortening them last week and preserved the original hem. (I do this the same as this tutorial: https://awellstyledlife.com/how-to-shor ... inal-look/). I also unpicked the cuffs on a top with 3/4 length sleeves, cut off 2 inches, and sewed the cuffs back on. As you can tell, I am short with extra-short arms and legs and I have to alter everything. I think I am all caught up!

    I mixed a couple of leftovers together to make enough for lunch for everybody. Pretty tasty! I have been reading the More-with-Less cookbook in bed at night and made 3 recipes this week.

    I bought 9 lbs. of 80/20 ground beef for $1.99 lb. and a big package of petite (bottom) sirloin for beef cubes. I also got 3 lbs. of butter for $1.99, which was an unadvertised special. I broke down the meat into smaller packages (my least favorite frugal task) and froze everything (butter, too).

    Several years ago, a group I'm with built a Little Free Library in a lower income neighborhood. I'm happy to report that the neighborhood has taken it for its own. Books come in, books go out, books come in again. The guy who built the LFL used spar varnish on the molding around the window. This week I noticed that it was flaking off and the oak frame was weathering. A friend took down the door and I painted it with 3 coats of leftover exterior paint. Cost: $0. It's way cuter with the little pop of color!

    A friend gave me a white Thanksgiving cactus in bud. I told her to wait until after it bloomed, but she wanted it GONE. Bonus: it usually has a light re-bloom around Easter.

    I am not good about rearranging the furniture, etc. Last week I got an idea and moved around some pictures. I won't lie and say it's like having all new stuff, but I like what I have better.

    I hope you and all of the Bluebirds have had a fantastic week!

    1. Dear Maxine, I learned to do this original hem too! At first I could not figure it out! But it is good and looks "unaltered."
      I am short. So I always have to take things up!
      I just love the free library. Just beautiful. Such a positive thing!
      You added lots to your pantry too. I know how you feel about the task of re packaging but boy it gives you a lot more meals so it pays well! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Happy Blessings on the latest addition to your family! He's darling!
    I have had an off week. I managed to get smaller jobs done but I think the incoming hurricane played heck with migraine type symptoms. I felt far more energetic today which was good as I had the youngest grandbaby and her brother. Keeping an 8 month old and a 3 yr old is not for the faint hearted, lol. I loved every moment and was happy to have done things like making bread yesterday and laundry extra early this morning. Nice to do laundry today because the wind was blowing and really softened and freshened those things. I've been thinking about my grocery spending for the month ahead since a new month is almost upon us.

    Congratulations again!

    1. Dear Terri,
      Atmospheric pressure can be a shocker for migraines. My brother will get a migraine if a thunder storm is coming in. Very difficult.
      Yes you would have your hands pretty full with the two under 3! The wind is a great ironer... things come off the line ironed (more or less!) I am all for it! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Hi Annabelle.
    That Thomas is beautiful! I know you are feeling blessed to have those babies added to your family this year. I always love your pictures. I think you named Laffie correctly! She and her buddies bring lots of smiles. We have been concentrating on winter preparations here as our first frost won't be too far off. Our freezer and pantry are well stocked but we have plenty to do outside and I was happy to see the weather should be perfect for working outdoors. We finally got some much-needed rain this week.
    We have a dollar store in a small town near us and I drove over one day to pick up a few things. As I was leaving I spotted pecans all over the parking lot. They were dropping from a tree next door that overhung the fence. I couldn't let an opportunity pass me by so I picked up a nice big bag of nuts. I so agree that praying for guidance and opportunities before setting out brings good results!
    I picked up extra sewing needles and another case of half-gallon canning jars. Our Walmart seems to restock the shelves with a few new canning items each week and they haven't increased prices. I sorted and organized my gift bins and made notes on things I need to add. My goal is to have everything wrapped by the end of November.
    Have a great week, Bluebirds!

    1. Dear Pam,
      I also had a good few days of work out doors weather! It is the time to get so much done!
      It is great you found jars!! I am beginning to wrap also. I have learned the hard way many times that too much to do later on spoils the fun and so I am starting early! I hope you had a good week and sorry about the Alte reply! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Congratulations on such a beautiful grandson.

    Farmer and I have been very proactive in deepening our pantry/freezers. We added a case of canned green beans yesterday and some frozen chicken tenders. (We use those for quick meals.) I asked a friend to pick up some canned chili beans and 2 ham steaks and a case of chicken pot pies when she was in the city on Thursday. I feel my pantry is just about as I want it going into the winter. I would like at add a jar or two of mayonnaise (even though I do know how to make it.) and we are out of frozen blueberries. I use those every week for muffins on Sunday.

    Today I blanched and froze 3 heads of broccoli. I cut up a 2lb bag of carrots for lunches next week. I cleaned out the fridge and only had to dump a bowl of soup. (Actually gave to the cats so really didn't waste it.)
    I also made a IP of chicken bone broth. That is chilling for freezing tomorrow.

    Between our garden harvest, our own beef and stocking up at the store; I am ready for whatever the winter throws at us.

    1. Dear Kay,
      You did add a lot to your pantry and freezer. Fantastic work. With pets nothing is wasted, here it is the chooks and dog but really everything gets used! It is really good.
      he broccoli sounds beautiful and I am glad you are so well ahead for winter! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. Hi Annabel

    What a lovely reflection of the things that have happened this year, albeit some not so lovely but it is a year like no other.

    Thomas is just a gorgeous little man. It is so wonderful that you are able to take meals to Chloe and Luke. This is so helpful in the early stage of coming home.

    We are awaiting an impending birth (due 8th Nov) when I had DD10 I had a student midwife who we have kept in touch with over the years as DD10 was the first she saw born. Now we have been on her journey with her. This weekend I have finished off a present for her which is a play mat for the floor. She too is expecting a baby boy.

    The week started out very hot and humid here with a small storm and a power outage. Just as I was about to walk to school (car stuck in the garage) a friend phones an says she thinks I would be stuck and she would pick up DD10 if I boiled water for a coffee (advantages of both a gas and electric stove) another small storm with some refreshing rain, a trip to the dentist, borders being opened somewhat so now frantically working out our trip but prepared for things to not go to plan just in case and a weekend of sewing. I decided that we need a small stocking to take away with us so this has been finished today.

    Love the photo of Laffie at the car window and then at the gate, you truly are loved by your animals.

    This week I have also saved bananas and strawberries and cut them up to freeze to put in smoothies on hot days as an after school refreshment.

    Can hardly believe that there are only 5 and a half weeks left of school here. School is out a few days early due to the teachers needing a well deserved break as the parents did the homeschooling for them.

    Another thing I have been busily doing is spray painting boxes and bags for Christmas presents to go into and they are coming up a treat.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, Your friend will love this gift! I am thinking the baby is probably here now as it has taken me all week to reply!
      I think with travel you need plan A and plan B for sure.
      I had to read this twice... 5 and a half weeks to the school year over! And that will go quickly too.
      I very much like the sound of your boxes ready for giving gifts! Hope you had a good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  16. Congratulations to Chloe and Luke on the birth of their beautiful baby boy, Thomas! Congratulations to the whole family! Wow, to think that the two grandsons have been named after your Dad, is such a honour and such a testimony to his character. How lovely. What a beautiful grandson you have there. He is gorgeous! His cuddles will make the world feel like a better place. I love how you provide the girls meals for when they have their babies. This is truly the best gift of all. Nothing is better than a shower and a home cooked meal! I love the animal pictures. Aren't they beautiful?! My little pup, now dog, has such personality. He knows when I am going out and tries his best to tag along. I love how you got a dehydrator. I must order one this week. I am busy getting Christmas gifts and a few birthday gifts organised. There is a lot to do. I was shocked when I added up our grocery shops in October. Little trips to the shops really add up. So we need to stop these. It is getting so hot here so I need to do things early in the morning, or under a fan or in air con. lol. I also need to write up a big list of hearty salads, because these can be made early in the morning and meat can just be grilled etc. As it is getting hard to cook in this heat. Love to all- Lily

    1. Dear Lily,
      Dad saw Sidney and was so thrilled it was ridiculous and his second name being Thomas was a big bonus. I never heard Dad happier. Now he would be over the moon. Thank you.
      Soon I will be as you are with the early morning and evening jobs outside. Just now we had cool weather so I am trying to get so much done while it is still mild!
      I also hate to cook in the heat and we go cold meat and salads and ani pasta kind of meals. Sorry for my slow reply the week got away! With love Annabel.xxx

  17. What an adorable baby! Congratulations to all.Love the photos of the cows. You've accomplished so much and are an inspiration. We're fostering a litter of 5 kittens that we took in because there was no one else who could bottle feed. We'll be sending them on to another foster once the election week is over. Prayers appreciated for the people of the USA. No matter the results, the feelings are strong and there is the possibility of violence. Have a wonderful week. Love from Arizona. Elaine

    1. Dear Elaine, Thank you! To bottle feed five kittens is a huge job! Well done!! Elaine I prayed all week. I watched election results all day Wednesday. The stress nearly killed me so I had to go out into the garden a few times. I am still praying. With love Annabel.xxx

  18. What a lovely fresh look on the new blog Annabel! Congratulations on the arrival of beautiful baby Thomas. So glad to see everything going well for your little family. Much Love, Mimi xxx


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