Feather your Nest Friday, 26th March, 2021.

 This was a week that I was just looking forward to the end of!   I am late to post as Andy had his surgery and I have come home for a couple of days.  It was an exhausting week! 

Andy is doing really well.  One minute I was spoon feeding him ice chips and then the next day he was up and walking!   Lucy also had a very important medical appointment and so I spent a lot of time waiting and praying.   So I can report everything is going well and thank you to everyone who prayed.  Lucy has more appointments ahead of her but I am glad to be at the end of this week. 

This all means I have less to report but I still have some things...

Firstly, I have been meaning to post some pictures of the ducks.  Everyone seems to like the animal photos.  Once a week I buy a big bag of frozen peas.  This is their treat.  They go crazy over them!  

They really are so sweet and funny.   I collect duck eggs but I hope to get some to hatch out.  

It may be up to one of the Bantams or chickens to hatch them out though as no luck so far.

I had a whole day of waiting around in a really beautiful regional city.  So obviously I went op shopping (thrift shopping) and found a few things.   I found Christmas themed fabrics that I can put towards my Christmas bags project.

Other finds were fabric with chickens, ginghams and even John Deere fabric which is pretty suitable for little farm boys.  

I started a blanket for Thomas.  The colour matches his room and I am aiming to make it single bed size.

Because I have left the house a few times in the last year at a minutes notice my overnight bags are loaded with all kinds of things and two of somethings, none of another.  So I have them emptied out and starting again.  Eek!   This is going to take a while! 

I almost didn't blog but better late than never.  Also you know each week I encourage home making and building up your home.  My old blog  The Bluebirds are Nesting had a whole index of pantry and preparedness subjects.   I keep on about this!    And I have been working on every area of preparedness and building up my pantry for years now.   There are people who will give you trouble over it.   Too bad!  Then we had very sudden bare shelves during Corona Virus,  lock downs and supply chain issues.    Lets see... we went through fires now floods.   In both cases people were at home without basics to get them through.  Most of us have now seen good reasons to always be well stocked.   Early this week I saw another.   The word Evergreen rang a bell with me and I began to check into it.  If you are not aware of it a giant blockage in the Suez Canal is a whole new supply chain issue.  It is amazing how closely our world is connected.  Things can easily have a kind of domino effect.   One ship stuck might be no huge deal.  But hundreds of ships not moving soon begins to be.   Check out the size and number of containers on these ships and what they carry.   Keep your eyes and ears open!  I always say be watchful and discerning.  Be prudent and diligent!   

With that... I hope you had a good week!   How did you build up your pantry or garden?  Were you able to get ahead in some way?  Have a lovely weekend.   My big plans for tonight are sleeping! xxx


  1. What a week Annabel! I’m so pleased Andy’s surgery went well and hope that Lucy finds some answers soon. Also that your mum is feeling better! I’m sorry, I posted a comment last week but it didn’t seem to go through. The fabric you got looks lovely and Thomas’s blanket is going really well. It will keep you busy for a while yet!

    I finished a blanket for my nephew due in a couple of weeks. I’m so pleased with it. I’ve also made him a hat, and then one each for my daughters. I’ve bought a lot of yarn from people getting rid of bulk lots lately (totally against my plan if not buying any this year lol) so I’m trying to use up some of the really random balls first. I love that a random ball of yarn can be made into something useful and beautiful. Safe to say I don’t need to buy any yarn for a while...

    I really do hope you sleep well and have some time to do something nice for yourself this weekend. You do such a lovely job of caring for your family and others, it is very inspiring to check in here every week!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you! With the cold weather cooling the hats are perfect timing. The little blanket will be beautiful I know. I gave the gift of a crochet blanket to a new baby boy and it was that denim/grey blue wool I had. Well it was really a hit I was so pleased. Jen if you can get wool at a good price I would get it. The prices are high and you know you will make things with it. I think that is a good way to get it.
      I have caught up on washing and so on! I did need a big sleep.
      It was a truly beautiful Autumn day here so I have the house opened up with fresh air, so nice. Have a wonderful new week. With much love Annabel.xxx

  2. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebird friends,
    Annabel I hope Andy ,Lucy and your mum are all improving and that you are ok too.
    The fabric is a good find ,especially the John Deere piece ,as you say it's perfect for farm boys.it would make nice bibs!.
    I had a quiet week ,not much happening here.
    I did manage to get my favourite tea bags half price,I bought two boxes ,I would usually buy more than that but I bought a few boxes a few weeks ago when they were also half price.
    At the moment I am putting together two care packages to be sent to two lovely people so I have been on the lookout for gifts at a good price .I have found some suitable things at great prices which is good.
    I gratefully received some meals from my parents this week .I also found some good marked down ( reduced to clear) items I hope everyone enjoys what is left of the weekend.
    Take care bluebirds.
    Love BarbW.

    1. How kind of you to put together two care packages for people. That's a lovely and thoughtful idea. Love, Lily

    2. Dear Barb,
      Thanks so much. I was so pleased with the fabric especially to get tractors and chickens!
      I bet the teabags were the Twinnings English Breakfast! My Mum loves those too! And she watches for them to be on special. I love my tea too.
      It is so nice of you to make care packages. I am sure they will be appreciated. And to have lovely meals from your Mum and Dad is so helpful. I hope you have a great new week Barb! With lots of love, Annabel.xxx

    3. Hello again Annabel and beautiful bluebird friends,
      Yes Annabel you are right about the tea bags . Twinings is my favourite brand of tea and I usually have at least eight boxes in my stockpile ( 100 tea bags in each box !).
      I really appreciate getting meals from my lovely parents ,it is so kind of them to do that for me.
      I hope everyone has a lovely new week..
      Love BarbW.

  3. So pleased to hear Andy is recovering well :)
    We have runner ducks that we hatched in one of those incubators. Much easier if you could get a broody chicken to take on the job though! Their eggs are fabulous in cake; and they are so entertaining to watch.
    The blanket for Thomas looks lovely- I like the colour.
    This weekend we are spending more on our pantry shop. I hadn’t paid much attention to the ship that was grounded until a friend gave me a heads up, and then it was announced we were having our area opened up again -which is great - but being just before Easter and knowing our local stores are not very large, I am thinking all of the above will put extra pressure on the supplies.
    Hope you get some rest.
    Much love
    Heidi xxx

    1. Annabel, i have had your family in my prayers. I will continue to do so. I love the fabrics. Those Christmas bags are the best idea! I think I better learn how to make them. I love the tractor fabric too. I love the photo of the ducks. They are so cute. I have planted four plants today. Each time I plant something edible, I always think of it as 'getting ahead'. I bought some seeds for 99c a packet too, so I got a few. I have hemmed some flannelette to make handkerchiefs and have shopped the op shops. I bought some unused colouring books, a new helmet and some shoes for me! They are in great condition. I also purchased a dehydrator, so this is my big plan to prepare even more. Sending hugs and prayers. Rest up while you can. Love, Lily

    2. Thank you so much Heidi, I have thought about getting an incubator but you are right that if a hen will do it she does all the work of bringing them up etc!
      Easter is a big holiday time here, loads of traffic and people in the stores. It is probably the same there. I think good work on keeping stocked up ahead.

      Also Dear Lily,
      On you tube I looked up how to make a draw string bag. They way they showed was better than the way I had previously made up! They are very fast to make up.
      Good job on the planting! Yes what we do today affects tomorrow!
      You made great investments! The dehydrator is a great buy! I only started dehydrating last year. Before that I used to air dry bunches of herbs. But it is fantastic! A good experiment is to dry a packet of frozen peas. See how small a jar a whole packet fits in to! It is amazing. Celery is another. A wholes bunch of celery dehydrated. It adds into a soup or broth just perfectly. You are never without celery for soup again! With all the homesteading groups and grading groups there are dehydrating groups on FB too and I learned a lot there. Also on you tube Rain Country... she has MANY videos on dehydrating and I learned so much from Heidi. You did well! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. I'm glad that Andy is doing well and that Lucy is on the way to getting some answers. I hope that your mom is doing better as well and that you will take care of yourself as much as possible during all of this. We are in full gardening or getting ready to garden mode with the goal of keeping my pantry well-stocked. Times are so uncertain right now and I truly feel that anything we can do to 'look well to the ways of our household' should be a priority. I hope next week is a better one for you.

    1. Dear Patsi,
      Thank you. It is a bit hard to take care of ourselves when so much stuff is happening. But we must. The wheels really fall off if we cant keep going.
      You did very well the last few years with your garden and pantry. I have watched you expand the garden so much. Yes it is wise. Also it feels good. I feel much more peaceful knowing things are stocked and I have back ups etc. I hope the new week is a better one for you too. With much love, Annabel.xxx

  5. Glad the surgery was a success and that all are doing well. It had to be such a stressful week for you. Sending prayers and blessings for you all!

    1. Thank you Cheryl. Much appreciated. The new week will be busy but less stressful I hope. Have a good new week to you too.xxx

  6. Dear Annabel, I'm so glad you did post! Glad to hear that Andy's surgery went well and that things will progress with Lucy. I hope they find the cause of her migraines. Very nice on the fabrics. I have to say that fabric is truly my downfall; anything sewing related! We made a large purchase this week, we bought a sectional. We used coupons and my husbands military discount and got 25% off. Major savings. It was time for an upgrade, we have early marriage furniture. LOL We saved $292. Maybe not frugal but we have had our current furniture 30 plus years so it was time. So I hit sales at the store this week and did pretty well only bought the loss leaders. Yesterday hubby helped the neighbors with a water leak and so last night they gifted us a 3rd of his birthday cheesecake. Very good! I only had 1 bite as it's really not my favorite but as a baker I had to sample to see if it was homemade. Hope you and the family have a blessed week! Love, Laurie

    1. Dear Laurie, It is nice to get a new lounge. Mine was over 50 years old when we moved and I decided maybe I need a new one! Oh cheesecake is nice! The best deals are the way to stock up. I watch them for something that will store well and that we use. I am glad you understand on the fabrics. I feel that cottons, fabrics etc are very good to keep in supply, I feel the same with cotton and wool yarn, jars etc! It is amazing to see what can be found and I had some really good finds this year with all the velvets etc that are my favourite! I get very excited to find such gorgeous materials. So we are speaking the same language! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. So glad all the appointments and medical things went well, you deserve the rest and I’m sure you will because you have looked well unto your household. Have a great weekend!

  8. What a week you have had. I am so happy to hear that all is going well with Andy. I pray that Lucy finds out what is causing her migraines soon. It is so hard to be Mommy when you are sick with those headaches.

    My Mom is doing much better and is able to walk 25 feet with a walker now. She is out of quarantine and able to eat in the dining room and have visitors so that will help her to heal, too.

    As we are seeing gas prices rise I am thinking plastics are going to go up as well so I did a big stock up on plastic garbage bags when I saw a deal this week. We also did a big stock up on a some easy to prepare non perishable foods in case the power goes out.. We had bad storms and tornados in our area this week so we are thinking about Spring storms as they will continue. We are expecting more storms tonight.

    Have a good weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, The fact your Mum is walking is fantastic. And yes it is good she can see people and that will lift her spirits.
      Good thinking on the plastics! I am seeing mention of some plastics shortages especially for milk packaging. It is amazing how one thing affects another. I also saw mention of more storms. I hope you have got through them with no damage. I am glad you are well prepared. Australia has had flooding and now some parts are going back into lock down. Just before Easter this has seemed to make panic buying even worse. We are ok in our state, so far! With much love Annabel.xxx

  9. You've had a rough week, Annabel, so I do hope your get some restful time this weekend. Best wishes and healing thoughts/prayers to your family.
    I agree, the first thing I thought of upon hearing about the Suez Canal blockage was that the supply chains would be affected. I plan to review my pantry, freezers, and basement storage this weekend and prepare a list for shopping on Monday. I don't like to shop on the weekend, as the stores are crowded even in this rural area. I'm glad you're checking and restocking your emergency bags, but I sure hope you don't need them!
    Love your fabric finds and beautiful blanket, as well as your sweet ducks. I remember my dad used to bring home duck eggs once in awhile, and my mom would make the loveliest rich egg noodles with them. I have a special fondness for John Deere, too, since I grew up in central Ohio - prime agricultural area for growing corn and soybeans - and my dad was a parts manager at the local JD Implement store. In the mid- 1960s I was allowed to climb all over the tractors and combines being repaired in the shop - ah, the days before liability issues! LOL. I really enjoy seeing your animal and farm pics.
    Today I'm making a KFC copycat recipe for coleslaw , and then I'll continue cutting fabric since I did my cleaning chores yesterday. I wish Annabel and the other lovely Bluebirds a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Jill, I also do not like shopping on weekends or just before Christmas or any other crowded days! I avoid it if I can!
      My son in law if John Deere mad. He worked on tractors in the USA too! I am not sure all the places but I know Texas was one. So John Deeres are also very popular here too. The cold slaw sounds good! I hope you got plenty of time cutting and sewing! Have a very good new week. With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Dear Annabel,
    I'm so glad to hear that Andy's surgery went well and that he is recovering nicely. I hope Lucy finds some answers soon.
    Your ducks are very sweet. Amazing how you always find something wonderful at the thrift store. Always fun to check in here each week for me as well.
    I do hope you get some much needed rest. Blessings, Laura

    1. Thank you Laura, We are home again now too. I think success at thrift stores is partly luck and partly dedication. When Im in there I see people walk in, walk around and walk out. Not me. I am going through boxes and sitting on the ground going through craft items etc. I also ask the staff for the things I am looking for and very often they wander off and come back and say "how about these?" Some are good shops they are usually the country stores for me. But you just never know! That is part of the fun! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. That is good news about Andy. I hope you are catching up on your rest now. Love the fabrics you found and I know you will put them to good use. Your ducks are so beautiful. I used to love how ours followed me around and the quacking noise they make! Am I the only one who talks to their animals?

    As if things can't get any crazier in this world, we now have a huge ship STUCK in the Suez Canal which is blocking shipping which normally goes that route along with creating havoc in global trade. They expect prices to go up significantly on certain things (gas and oil being one). That gives us another good reason to keep the pantry well-stocked, the gas tank full and to have cash on hand. We are learning to be prepared for whatever is thrown at us and you have to wonder if that isn't the point of it all! I am dehydrating vegetables as I find them for a good price. I've learned not to rely on our gardening skills because there are just too many variables here. Right now I'm fighting fire ants. I had hoped the big freeze killed them all but they are back again.

    I am making my own bias tape for a couple of projects (Greg's favorite blanket needs a new binding. Also I am recycling fabric that was a dress in its previous life into a skirt which needs a bias waste band. ) Every day Greg tills another area in the garden and I get a new row put up and planted. Ha! We may be slow but we eventually get the job done.

    We lost so many plants in that awful February freeze (it got down to 0 degrees). I am tossing those dead things, emptying the potting soil and spreading it in the sun to "sterilize". I will add about 1/3 fresh potting soil, compost and some slow-release fertilizer then re-use it in my cleaned-up pots which I have soaking in bleach water. I plan to just buy a replacement plant or two at a time and I started with aloe vera (an absolute necessity) and two red petunias. I have a lot of pruning to do. We had to buy a new air compressor and Greg recycled one of the wheels by putting it on one of the garden carts which needed a replacement. Before we throw anything out, we are thinking if it might be repurposed. It is a good habit to have and has been a money-saver. Greg over-bought on bananas again (they are the cheapest fruit to be bought here). Ha! I believe he does that on purpose so I will be forced to make banana pudding. We are definitely in our "waste not, want not" mode. Be safe, stay healthy and thank you for sharing pieces of your lives.


    1. Dear Pam, Thank you. Andy is home now. It was a big day yesterday. But it is good to be home.
      I found the Suez Canal situation very interesting. Now the ship is moving again there live animals on other ships are in really trouble with up to 9 days delay... and it showed how fast things can fall apart! Cash on hand is very important. Lots of small denominations too.
      Making your own bias tape is a brilliant skill. I notice that this gives you endless options and pretty bias tapes that match your sewing.
      The closes we have come to your situation is when we had had a black frost. Oh my goodness the damage. I used bananas this week and Harper declare the cake I made was the best one EVER. So at least too many bananas has many possible options! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. You have had a lot going on this past week. I'm glad that Andy is on the mend and that you can look forward to him improving. For someone with so much happening, you still managed to achieve a lot. I love seeing photos of the farm and the animals that you share it with.
    I seem to be falling further and further behind in what I am trying to achieve. At the moment I am doing one job at a time and then moving to the next one. If I look at the 'whole'm of what needs doing then I get overwhelmed. So one foot in front of the other is what I am doing.
    This week I have just about completed knitting my first sock. I have managed to add stitches without realising and this sock is going to be quite large. It might end up being a bed sock rather than a fitted sock.
    A few more items have been made and given to Katie and Jared for their bubs. We have a courier bringing the cot Bluey made up from Adelaide. Bluey wants to get it here and give it a bit of a refresh and going over before our new Grandie gets to use it.
    I know that the cooler weather will be here soon enough. I am so looking forward to it. I have the cooler weather to look forward to for getting the garden into full production once more. It is still too darn hot to spend a lot of time playing in the dirt.
    Life is almost cool weather good.

    1. Dear Jane, I think I understand how you feel. I have not been keeping up. I think "do the next thing" as anything helps and often Im not sure what to pick!
      Good job on learning sock knitting! I am not there yet. My crochet is ok but my knitting is dodgy!
      Oh it is good Katie gets the cot! That is wonderful! Photos I saw of your garden looked amazing to me. I cant wait to see full production! With much love Annabel.xxx

  13. Hello, Ladies.
    So glad to hear about Andy's surgery going well. Will continue to pray for rapid healing! Praying for Lucy. I know you mentioned before about her dreadful migraines. Glad Lana's mother is gaining strength.
    My fridge and freezer are both packed! We had friends who moved and they just gave us the entire contents of their fridge. Also some meat was shared with us from my m-i-l who lives alone. God is good! My oven has been broken for over a week as we had to first, wait for the repairman, and now wait on the part. This has been tough on my crew as they miss their homemade cookies and bread.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration, Annabel. And thanks for sharing, Bluebirds. Have a blessed week!

    1. Dear Lesley, Thank you for your prayers. Andy is home now and doing really well. Thank you for praying for Lucy. They have found she has Chiari Malformation which I had never heard of. We are praying for treatments now. She has more tests etc to come.
      Wow! on the fridge additions! How good of them! And you helped your Mother in law also! I know you will put everything to good us.
      Thank you so much Lesley, with love Annabel.xxx

  14. Dear Annabel, Thankyou for posting, I have been wondering how you were all going after last week. I also hope you had a restful weekend. Things have been busy in my household as we barrel towards the Easter holidays. I am preparing for visitors over that time. Today is a glorious washing drying quickly in the breeze day here and I am taking advantage of that - my line is full. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      We are home again and this afternoon I am resting as I am so tired. It sounds like you are in for special Easter holidays. Love that you have everything drying in the sun. Nothing makes clothes or linen smell so nice as the sun does. The breeze is the iron too as it blows the wrinkles out! Love it. Have a beautiful time at Easter, with love Annabel.xxx

  15. Annabel, I do hope and pray that Andy recovers well, and completely. I can imagine how exhausted you must be with all the travelling and the farm/animals to tend. May our Father bless you both with His perfect rest and many extra hands to lift you right now.
    My chickens love peas too! I mix them into the porridge they have each morning and they fight over the peas. LOL!

    1. Dear Jenny,
      My chickens love grated cheese. haha so we both do chicken treats! Peas are very good. I just get a big homebred packet. They serve to keep my cold stuff cold on the way home from the shops as that is about an hours drive. Then they are my duck treat!
      Thank you, I am tired and resting this afternoon. with much love Annabel.xxx

  16. You are so right to be alert and discerning and stocked up! (I heard there was toilet paper on those ships but I'm not worried a bit LOL)
    I love the idea of frozen peas to feed the ducks - I'll bring that instead of bread next time I go to the park.
    Thanks for all you do and all your great ideas!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      The peas are really healthy for the ducks. The chooks like them too. I dont have to worry about toilet paper either! I have a whole high cupboard dedicated to that! It is very interesting how supply chains are so global and what happens far off can impact everything. So although the news is mostly annoying I want to know what is coming down the line!
      Thank you for your kind comment! With love Annabel.xxx


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