Feather your Nest Friday. 15th January, 2021.

 Thank you for all the kind messages last week.   Andy is much better!   So it was a more normal week except for a fire!  Fortunately we were safe but a little town near us was threatened.  In the end the town was saved.  That was a stressful day as it had the makings of being similar to the fire last year.   I thought oh no here we go again!   But by bed time we knew we were safe.  We felt dreadfully sorry for those that suffered losses.  

I was very happy with simple things this week.  Simple is good! 

I continued with my Make the Most of it Challenge.   Some of my odd balls of cotton became more wash cloths.   

This stitch is from You Tube "Crochet for Baby" channel is called Fluffy Cotton Candy stitch.  Very easy! I like it! 

I had a week of gifts.   Chloe gave me a wonderful Homesteading book and THIRTY vanilla beans!!  Mum gave me good sewing scissors!  

I was thrilled.  I got busy and started some Vanilla Essence.

This was day one.  Already the Vodka is brown.  I am keeping it going to be ready for Christmas.  Then I will decant it into little bottles and label it.  By then it will be so beautiful!!

Mum made me a pavlova and we had a little afternoon tea.

Yum!  It was so nice.  We all shared giant chunks of it to take home for deserts.  

Each day I picked tomatoes and zucchini.  I worked zucchini into many meals. 

I was given a heap of beautiful bottles. All shapes and sizes.   Some would be lovely for bubble baths and bath salts.  They would look just spectacular.  So these will give me some gift giving possibilities.

This week I have to include Eddy.  He looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.

He is so sweet and so affectionate but he cannot go a day without getting into some kind of trouble.   I read that to hold a goat a fence also needs to be able to hold water.  This is pretty much true.  But I love him.  Scout loves him.   If Eddie is siting down then he will have a stick and a ball and possibly a frisbee sitting right next to him.  This is because Scout likes to give Eddie stuff just incase he wants to play.  

When the world is crazy the absolute adoration from your animals,  the garden, nature...  the chickens and ducks... the beautiful birds...  they remain consistent.   TV is a hazard to me and me to it.   We had some news on recently and I wanted to throw a shoe at it!  I said to Andy I can't listen to this!   What lies!   So now I do some sewing,  do some crochet, watch a you tube tutorial... something lovely.   Watering the garden in the evening is very so peaceful.

Overall I am fairly caught up after the week of sickness.  That feels good.  I often think in terms of I am on top of the mountain or the mountain is on top of me!  Also I always remember Elizabeth Elliot's  "Do the next thing."  I seriously often don't know what to do next.   So I just do the next thing.  It all adds up.  I had a couple of free hours so I wrapped the birthday presents for January.   Now they are lined up ready to go.  In our family there are a heap of January Birthdays.   Then I did a little bit of sewing.   I loved that.  Sewing does me good.  As crochet does!  Somehow we have to work these things that we love into our day. 

I did not really add to my pantry this week but I did do some jar filling and organising.   It needed a bit of a clean up.   I also found a completely empty high cupboard!  I am determined to store something there! 

How did you build up your home, save, get ahead or add to your pantry this week?   I hope it was a good week for you.xxx


  1. Debby in Kansas USA15 January 2021 at 04:53

    I think Eddie is beautiful! I love his coloring.

    I had to laugh at your reaction to tv. You have plenty of company there. I have reduced my news watching by about 75%. I watch for the basic news like weather, local news, and mute or turn off the rest. Life is too short! I'd rather do something cheerful like cleaning toilets ha ha!!!

    I made all my February cards this week, finished up a children's scarf, and did some clothing repair. I have ongoing embroidery squares to work on and reorganizing. Those two things seem to be endless.

    Those vanilla bottles are pretty enough to be decoration!
    Have a good week!

    1. Dear Debby, Thank you! I think the news has lost all credibility!
      A great idea to make the cards for the month ahead! I love that! I have some clothing to work on too. But it is really good when you turn something unwearable into something wearable again!
      I need to make the vanilla go a long way or they would be expensive gifts... so I have bottles coming for later that are about the size of the store bought bottles. If I can enough I could give them as gifts in sets or two or three maybe! I will see how many I get. Now you reminded me I mist go give them a shake! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Glad you are all feeling better and that you are safe. You are so right - simple is good. Animals, both pets and nature give me so much joy and they sure do make a day brighter. We need all the joy we can get in these days!

  3. Annabel
    I am so glad your husband is on the mend. What a relief. Those vanilla pods are a wonderful gift. I have never thought to make my own essence!
    You will have to let us know how the book is- it looks good.
    My week has been good so far. Quiet, as we are on "lockdown" again, but good because my "new year resolution" (to save money) was not to buy from a certain retailer online -name begins with A ;) for a year. So far, so good :) Day 15 and still no spending other than groceries at a local supermarket.
    We also got a lot of old books and dvd's together this week to sell via an online company similar to eBay. We couldn't drop them off to donate as those places are closed right now. So we now have a little in return for them.
    I have also been learning a few new recipes to make from scratch. I would have previously used a jar sauce for example, now I am looking up how to make it myself. So far, so good on that too.
    Your mum's strawberry pavlova looks delicious! I can't wait until our strawberry season comes around again.
    Ordered our seed potatoes and a new blueberry bush.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Love & Blessings
    Heidi xx

    1. Dear Heidi,
      Vanilla pods are expensive now and so are all real vanilla essences, pastes etc. Homemade is even better! I love vanilla!
      Haha well I think I got your clues. But savings goals are good. Selling some things is good too!
      Earlier I posted a lot of make your own recipes such as cream of chicken soup, french onion soup... now and then I have a day and make up heaps. It is good as I can make them gluten free. They taste good and work and save a lot of money! Sometimes I hear of things people buy made up like macaroni cheese. I only found out that came in a box two years ago! Seriously this is one of those things that is so good and easy and cheap! From scratch is very good.
      Hope your new week will be a good one! With love, Annabel.xxx

  4. Dear Annabel, So glad to hear you and Andy are feeling better. Your farm life just sounds wonderful. Life is so full. 30 vanilla beans, how wonderful! And the pavlova your Mum made looks amazing. Something for me to learn how to make this year. This week we welcomed a new member of the family, my daughter Nicole had a Baby Girl! She was born on January 9th. Her name is Arya and she was a full month early but ready to come into the world. She has lots of dark hair and looks a lot like my Nicole when she was born. I got to go into the hospital to see her. I get lots of pictures from Nicole for now as we are a few hours away and won't be heading back to Portland for another week. We are having an electrician in next week to get a few items done here. Our weather has been sunny but cold, the sun is always nice to see. Yes the news is awful. It's terribly worrisome and I try not to watch. But then I wouldn't know anything good or bad. I just keep praying.

    1. Dear Laurie,
      Thank you. Congratulations!! How wonderful to have a are Granddaughter. That is so lovely. I am so glad you were able to go into the hospital as this isn't a given these days! I hope you get back to see them all soon!
      Yes keep praying, you know I am am praying true. We pray for truth and justice. The USA is such an important influence on the whole world. I love your country!
      Have a good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. What a lovely post today . Love the pictures Of Eddie...Oh free beautiful bottles. Can't wait to see them in use. Have a lovely weekend Dear. P.S. Your Mums Pavlova looks divine. In the US our news is crazy too. So much political turmoil in the USA these days and lots of censoring going on.

    1. Dear Tammy,
      I am seeing the censorship. I am disgusted. People who know their history know well how serious this is. I am following your news like a crazy woman. The USA affects the entire planet of course and my many good friends there so I care very much.
      I hope you have a good new week. With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Dear Annabel,

    I bet those gifts mean it was your birthday, so Happy Birthday! What a beautiful pavlova your Mum made...and I can smell those vanilla beans from here! Eddie is as cute as a button...I bet he knows it, and hopes that makes up for getting into mischief! Ha, ha. Very cute about Scout giving him toys.

    Your washcloths are beautiful! A person would hardly want to use them, they're so nice! :)

    I know what you mean about the news. Ugh. Today the sun is shining and it feels like March weather. (I'm sure we will pay for this later with snow and cold, but today I'm grateful for a sunny, warmish day!) I've been for a walk and gotten a letter in the mail, and this afternoon I hope to take advantage of the sunshine and do some embroidery. I'm monogramming 4 napkins for--gasp--us! (I have a bad habit of mainly crafting for gifts and ignoring our house...hope to rectify that this year by paying some attention to what I can do for our home, as well as for gift giving.)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend...great news about Andy!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Yes it was my birthday! I did pretty well hey! I truly enjoy the lovely days and are grateful for them. They just make life easier!
      Monogrammed napkins sound beautiful. A nice project!
      Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Eddy DOES look like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth! LOL! He's gorgeous. I love that Scout remains hopeful that Eddy will pick up those irresistible goodies and play with her💖. Your crocheting looks beautiful. And, the vanilla extract is gonna be so rich and dark by next Christmas, yum! We're still cooking from a bottle we brewed a year or two ago - it's fun, isn't it? Your Mom's Pavlova is gorgeous! I can picture you girls enjoying it together - just lovely.
    I had to laugh at your comment about the t.v. being in danger - LOL! I know what you mean!!!
    We do need to be a little extra kind with ourselves right now, I think. I'm planning a little reading time today....just gentle fiction.
    Man, this is turning into a long post! I made some biscotti yesterday - the recipe came from a lady on YouTube who got the recipe from her Italian mother-in-law. It's a great recipe!!
    We've been enjoying fires in our fireplace as it's been nice and cold (well, before this week anyway). We can only get 3 wheelbarrows full of wood at a time as there was such a run on firewood when the weather changed....finally. So, we've made a few trips. This week our daytime temps are in the 80s!!!👀
    I'm so glad to hear that Andy is doing better! and that the fire was put out and you guys are fine. We had high wind warnings for today, but (hopefully) the worst is passed. Come, Lord Jesus!
    Love from San Diego~

    1. Dear Mary, You are a true animal lover! Yes I think we have to try and balance life well now and limit exposure to upsetting stuff. I rather enjoy political thrillers. I used to love The West Wing! Well this is better lol! But when it gets to me I get outside in the garden with the animals and really all is well.
      I love Biscotti! I haven't made it. Ok I have attempted it..
      I wish you were closer I could keep you in firewood!
      Have a good new week. I expect we will be communicating! With love, Annabel.xxx

  8. Ugh! Your news is lies too. I cannot turn it on anymore unless there is severe weather coming and then I only watch the weather. I am sorry to hear that the fires are beginning there. Glad that Andy is better! The USA is just a mess and no one knows where all this will end. We are busy preparing for the worst. I added a generator to our pantry and many food items . Next is a handgun before we can no longer get one. A friend is helping us with knowing what to buy. Never in my worst dreams did I think America would be like this. We are praying daily for truth and all the corruption to be exposed.

    1. Dear Lana,
      I am here praying and watching. Yes much of our news is ridiculous. Ok here is example. Here we are on the cusp of who knows what... these are our top headlines right now..
      Netflix stars devastated over porn scandal.
      No new cases of covid in QLD
      Some tv star slammed for ridiculous comment.
      Woman gets rid of cellulite in two weeks.
      I could go on.
      Yeh that's helpful!
      So it is garbage. Hoping we are too dumb to notice.
      I am praying. Laine told me to watch Chris Yoon on you tube. Now I watch everything. He is advising what you are doing but also very reassuring! With much love Annabel.xxx

  9. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, your washcloths are so pretty! Happy to hear that Andy is doing better, and sending wishes for continued good health.

    This week I was able to add some hand sanitizer and fabric masks to our "household & medical" pantry, and did a bunch of cooking to get ahead (oatmeal freezer "muffins", a gingerbread cake, spaghetti sauce, a big roast, waffles for the freezer, and broth in the crockpot). My husband did some needed maintenance on the car (saving us a bundle, both money and not needing to go in to the shop), and I ordered my garden seeds for this year - lots of herbs and veggies, but also some zinnia and sunflower seeds. Our state is doing very poorly right now, so planning for a garden full of flowers this spring is cheering me up and giving us something to look forward to! We used my greeting card stash to send cards to family, since travel is not possible right now.

    To help relax and calm worries, I've been doing a lot of cross stitching on small projects to make the house cheerful - lots of roses and hearts and pretty things --- and knitting socks using yarn and embroidery supplies from my stash. Something about working with my hands and with the beautiful colors is really soothing.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

  10. Hi Annabelle, I am glad to read that Andy is doing better and that the fire did not come any closer. How scary that must be! I would really like to get some vodka and vanilla beans and try to make vanilla. Just a little bottle is now expensive. I desperately need to spend some time in the kitchen and get some meals and goodies made ahead. The doctor is starting me on some new medicine to try to give me more energy. I don't want to get my hopes up but hope it does help. I loved reading about Scout and Eddie. That is so cute. We are scheduled to get covid shots January 26th. I hope we don't have too bad of a reaction. Thank you for pointing us to the U Tube channel to find that pretty wash cloth. I hope to give it a go. I have been working on my chart for when to start inside or plant outdoors my seed. I look forward to your letters and Laine's. Nancy

  11. I’m glad to hear that you had a better week this week, and that Andy is feeling better.

    I was watching a YouTube video recently and I can’t remember which one it was, but she was making vanilla/vodka and was saying that she leaves it for 18 months minimum, and two years is even better! I’ve been meaning to make some, but haven’t as yet. Maybe it would be a good experiment to leave some for longer and compare it.

    I did a little sewing this week I bought some new shorts but they were a little long for me, so I hemmed them and they fit perfectly now.

    I got ahead by shopping for all the school supplies and uniforms that the kids will need this year. I was worried that with all the shortages recently they might run out of things, so I got in early, just need to get some joggers and socks and I’m done!

    All meals were cooked from scratch this week and I made a big pot of lentil and vegetable soup to eat for lunches, hubby and I are trying to lose weight, this lunch is filling and nutritious and keeps us away from carbs!

    Have a lovely week Annabel 😊

    1. Cheryl, yes yes yes aged longer is sooo much better! I have a few vanilla's I rotate in use. I never use more than half the bottle and I'll then add several new beans top it off and age it again. My oldest bottle is 20 years, next is 10 years and last year I started a 3rd one. I also add a little bourbon to my vanilla and if available I buy both tahitian and bourbon vanilla beans. Different varieties bring a a varied nuance of flavor to your vanilla. Oh my the older vanilla has such a depth of flavor!

  12. Eddie is adorable. He looks rather full of himself (LOL). Scout is a real sweetheart. Your crochet is always so lovely, Annabel.
    Love and hugs to all the Bluebirds,

    1. Dear Glenda, Yes Eddie has a bit of confidence going on! haha! Thank you! Scout is a good girl! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Annabel firstly I am so glad that Andy is doing better and so are you and glad the bush fires stayed away from you but feel sorry for others :) . What lovely wash cloths you have crocheted and what a wonderful pavlova your Mum gave to you. That is a huge gift from Chloe all those lovely vanilla beans that will keep on giving with lots of vanilla extract. How cute is that Scout gives Eddy some toys to play with and I hope Eddy joins in occasionally and obliges her.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $103.66 in savings last week :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - We made 3 loaves of bread some white and a combination of white and wholemeal flour in our bread making machine saving $10.92 over buying them locally.
    - Made all meals from scratch.
    - With $45 worth of free groceries ($25 from a previous supermarket promo and $20 rewards $) we topped up on 14 x 1kg bags of wholemeal flour (for bread making and baking), 2 x 500ml of olive oil on half price special for $2.50 ea and a carton of wet cat food.

    In the home -
    - Deep cleaned all the floors with an ammonia dishwashing detergent solution and then DH went over it again with a disinfectant solution and I am pleased to say the vinyl floors are now sparkling clean again :).

    Finances -
    - Paid an extra part payment off our mortgage to save interest paid and time on the loan.

    Purchases -
    - Taking advantage of weekly half price specials ,using a previous supermarket promo code of $25, combining $20 rewards dollars and collecting a free glass container valued at $30 we saved $85.50 on our monthly grocery shop.
    - Found a 6 pk of brioche fruit hot cross buns on markdown from $4.50 to $1.94 saving $2.56 on usual prices.
    - Using RACQ fair fuel prices to check on fuel costs we found that Metro was the cheapest in the area at $1.129 per litre and filled up 4 jerry cans of fuel we had used saving .17c a litre or $15.60 in total over what the other servos were charging.

    In the gardens -
    - Cleared out two garden beds of spent corn and broad bean plants and saved the seeds and weeded both garden beds.
    - Sprayed the property fence lines, around the buildings and paths with weed spray to get rid of weeds and grass.
    - Bought a punnet of giant capsicum seedlings and planted them in the vegetable gardens. Not sure why 3 times planting seeds didn't work so I gave in and purchased seedlings instead.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, Sorry for the late reply. We had more things going on than I can list. Including another fire! Now we had some rain thank goodness. This has given me time to catch up a bit.
      I am glad to read you had a very good week.
      It was a good time to fill up the Jerry cans. I have noticed that even OWNING jerry cans is a bonus as when there were blackouts everyone went to buy jerry cans and generators and you could buy neither!
      Sometimes Eddy will pick up a toy. To Scout that is exciting as she thinks Eddy might play. Eddie is just seeing if the toy is edible! lol
      You are very good on your seed saving. I am learning to be much better. Now I see they are something I can use, trade, gift and even sell. So I am always watching for seeds and seed pods.
      I hope the capsicums do well. I love capsicums. Very useful.
      I am hoping you might have had some rain since writing this. With much love Annabel.xxx

  14. Dear Annabel,
    Eddy is just GORGEOUS! What a cutie. Isn’t that precious that Scout is sharing his toys. I’m sure they’ll buddy up and be best friends. The long wait for Eddy was worth it 💕
    Your dish cloths are so pretty, they’d make lovely face washers. Your crochet work is exquisite.
    Your Mum is such a love making you a pav. You do so much for everyone else that she knew you’d need some spoiling. You are your Mum’s daughter Annabel, always sharing and caring for others.
    So sorry to hear about Andy in hospital and yourself unwell. It’s great that he’s on the mend and you need to give yourself some time too to recuperate and feel like yourself again Annabel.
    Our gorgeous goaties, Frank and Louis have finally left home!
    Jeff kept them in the house yard way to long and it was quite difficult to get them to bond with goats instead of us humans. They were 7 months old when they joined the girl herd so they are in heaven with their own harem. Louis was getting quite aggressive the last couple of months, as Billy’s growing up do, asserting his dominance, but it’s lovely seeing them with their own kind. When we drive up to see them Louis still comes up for a pat and cuddle with Jeff. That bond between those two is so strong. 💕
    I’ve been decluttering these last few weeks and it feels great. Even though we only moved into our petite home last March, so much excess accumulates so I am being ruthless and passing on to the op shop.
    My veggie garden is going great guns and has saved us a lot of money besides it being such a joy to pick fresh veggies. It all tastes amazing. I even have pumpkin growing for the first time ever.
    Well take care of yourself my lovely and enjoy lots of time with your new little man- Eddy. Just like kids they grow so fast.
    Love and hugs, Lorraine W

    1. Dear Lorraine,
      Eddy was an orphan I got at one day old. He turned out pretty small but he isn't my pigmy/mini.... STILL waiting on them. My plans went wrong so I am hoping this is my year!
      Maybe you will have some goat babies in the near future! That would be so nice.
      I am glad the veggies are doing well. It is all paying off! Thank you for commenting and Im sorry to be so slow to reply! We had a couple of extreme weeks! With love, Annabel.xx

  15. I cannot watch the news here, either. I heard someone say recently that the news media has become a propaganda machine, much like we used to hear about in other countries. Sad but very true. I pray each day that God gives my husband and I and our family discernment to tell truth from lies.

    1. That is exactly true Brenda. Complete censorship and propaganda. We used to hear of this. Now we are living it. Much prayer! xxx

  16. Annabelle, so glad you both are on the mend.
    I, too, love your washcloths. I'm going to look for that video. I need a project I can take with me or work on in the evenings when it is too dark to sew in my dark-ish basement. (Not that I have time to do that anyway.)
    Today is the 24th and we are watching for a big winter snowstorm coming tomorrow through Wednesday. Farmer filled several 5-gal buckets with water so we can flush. We have bottled water but I will fill some pitchers with more for drinking & cooking. We are on a well but if the electricity goes out, our well won't work. He also got bedding down for the cattle and moved more feeding bales over to the feedbunk area in case he can't get the tractor down there. Those large round bales work as a windblock also.
    Elizabeth Eliot is my spiritual mentor and I always try to do "the next thing."
    I've made bone broth for the freezer from saved veg bits and bones. We continue to eat from the pantry and freezers, so little shopping.
    Not so frugal, but we just had a new heater installed. I work for the company and prices are going up. Even though ours was still working; Farmer will be retiring from his off-the-farm job in 5 years, so we decided to do it now instead of later when we may not have the funds.
    Stay well. I always love reading your blog.

    1. Dear Kay,
      Sorry for such a slow reply! I also like to have small projects I can do when away, in the car and without needing much light! These times can add up to be a fair bit!
      I hope the storm didn't hit you too hard. Ahh the elements are hard sometimes! You are having storms for us it is fires!
      I listened to Elizabeth Elliot tapes (back in the days of tapes!) in the car with Mum. So much stuck with me to this day. That is amazing isn't it. Like how so much Laine said stayed with me. And we always seem to retain certain little things and "do the next thing" is just so simple but I think of it so often and I just go ahead and do the next thing!
      It is a good idea to invest in things you know you will need. These are true investments. So that is good you got the heater in.
      Thank you for commenting. With love Annabel.xxx


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