Feather your Nest Friday, 5th March, 2021.

 I had a quieter week.  You know when you have been sick and you feel better but you do a few things and then you feel absolutely knocked out!?   That is how I have felt much of the week.  

I have to thank everyone for all the kind comments on the cottage!  I haven't had time to reply there.  But thank you!

As with the cottage I decided to take more photos of things that are part of the farm or life here.   

Every day when I walk to feed the chooks and ducks I walk past this huge old tree.  I love this tree.  It is up behind our house as you walk up a hill.   Usually there are black cockatoos in it eating the pinecones.   They are quite used to me now and so I get closer and closer.   You hear pinecones hitting the ground as you chew them off.  Once a cockatoo flew over Andy's ute and dropped a pinecone and it smashed his windscreen! 



Up behind the tree is the hay shed and on the left you see some of our water tanks.   These are part of the farm.   We collect all rain water and some tanks are full of ground water from a bore. 



There are other tanks like this.  Wherever there is a roof there are tanks to collect the water.   So the big sheds like the shearing shed collect a lot of water.  Our house and garage collect the water rain water. 

From the lamb broth I made recently I went on to make up pumpkin, potato and lamb baby food for the little boys.   They eat up what I make them so I make more!


I met up with Wendy and it was lovely.   While I was in town of course I went to the thrift stores.   I was so lucky again.  This time I found great little boys clothes.  They are all washed up now.   Someone donates a lot of designer brand stuff to that store!   I also found fabric again!   A pile of plain cottons went into my stash.   Then some small bits of lovely prints...


And some panels.  Some are gardens and kitchen scenes and another is a cat to sew up and all her kittens!  


It was a good day! 

I continued working on apples.  Yesterday I cooked another 33.  Yes, I counted.   These were stewed.   I took a container of these to Chloe today for their breakfasts.  Slowly I am dealing with the baskets of apples! 

I made a chocolate cake and shared that also. 

Some capsicums that needed to be used up went into the dehydrator.   I am always surprised how much dehydrating shrinks food.   This was six large capsicums so on the lid I write "6. Large"  and when I come to use them I will know how much to use from the jar. 



We were very lucky!  Earlier in the week I went up past my tree to the chicken house.  (I have four chicken houses this is the old one that was here when we moved.) Right next to the door was a giant hole.   A fox had spent a good while digging and trying to get into the coop.  He gave up just in time because I could see that the wire that is dug into the ground had a gap in this spot!   We were so lucky to not lose these chickens and ducks!  Within the day Andy had this hole filled with CEMENT and checked if there were any other weak spots we had not realised existed.  I felt so lucky as Lucy had a fox get into her hen house and it killed them all.  

I got out my essential oil supplies.  Many of my roller balls were empty or low.  I washed those up and refilled my sleep blend, sore throat oregano (this is the best thing of all time) and my Germ Fighter.   Then I made up some as a gift.  It is actually heavenly working with essential oils.   I made myself some extras for my handbag.  My weekness is sore throats.  If I use the oregano diluted at the very first hint of a bad throat coming on it almost always stops it.  So I need to have it on hand.   
I realised I have a lot of beautiful oils like rose and geranium and I should get some beauty and bath things made up and enjoy them!  A little lavender helps me to sleep.  It is relaxing to me. 

That was my week!  I slept more.  I had earlier nights!  We had beautiful Autumn weather.

I have a lovely photo of Chloe and baby Thomas.   My little vegetable eater! 


I love this photo!   

I hope you had a good week.  My thoughts have been on doing what we can in our homes, on our little patch and in our local community.   More and more I want to support the local businesses, trade and get to know those around us.  We can all help each other.    

How did you feather your nest, build up your pantry, garden or gift cupboard?   We love to hear as it is encouraging and we learn new ideas! xxx











Comments

  1. Annabel,
    What a lovely week you had, even though you consider it a "Slow One" The water tanks are amazing, I truly would love owning one of those to collect rain and snow water off our roof.
    The pine cones off that beautiful tree have to be amazing!
    Thomas has grown so much since last we saw him, he is adorable!!!
    Your thrift store finds are beautiful, I love the fabrics you found. You always do so well at that "Op Shop".

    Here it has been a slow week also, I have been busy working on making presents for my present pantry. The use it up, part of my craft pantry. Stocking is one thing, but we also need to use our stock. Now I pray who-so-ever receives these gifts feels blessed.
    I am also working hard on keeping our expenses tightly held. Grocery shopping is planned and re-planned. Essentials are added when on sale and we only purchase reduced meat and bakery. We used cash back awards to pay for a recent trip to Sam's Club.

    At home between crocheting and housework, I have been making meals stretch and baking more. I made a quiche using up odds and ends, but since I was making a pie crust why not 2 at the time, I then had a pineapple sour cream pie for desserts. It has been a wonderful week of meals from very little and all were delicious.

    It has felt like a good week of accomplishments, which in this house is a very good feeling. Making our budget stretch a good feeling. Finding ways to work around things, really good. We even found a way to save on heat loss I never thought of, we have a not so new home and the fans in bathroom don't have dampers, meaning heat in winter and air conditioning in summer escape through them, enough to melt over a foot of snow off roof. Replacing them will save us a lot of energy costs in the coming years.

    Prayers to You and your Family Annabel and to All the Bluebirds!

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    1. Dear Rosanne, Thank you! Thomas is a little character! I think he is going to be full of mischief! I am so glad you are filling your present cupboard as you are! Can you believe we are in March already? Last year I did so much early for my gift cupboard and later on this helped so much.
      Your baking was wonderful and sounds delicious! It is good you found new ways to save and get things done too. Sometimes we have to adapt a lot! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  2. What a nice week for you. Glad you found the breech before any chooks were harmed,
    Oh, look at those chubby baby cheeks. He is so handsome!

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Cubby cheeks for sure! He is so cute and ready for mischief I think! Thanks Cheryl! With love Annabel.xxx

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  3. Annabel; I wanted to thank you for your blog and all the encouragement you and this community provide. I have been reading for some time but rarely comment. One of my goals, after becoming a widow 5 years ago, was to learn certain skills and hopefully become more self sufficient. Since last year, I have learned to make preserves, and can certain vegetables.
    Yesterday, I knocked on a neighbors door, and asked if I could pick the "Marley Apples" ( a fruit native of the tropics, rather bland, but when cooked with sugar, cinnamon and other spices tastes just like apple preserves). I am finishing 11 jars of these preserves. They make wonderful fillings for cakes, and pies. I got my courage to knock, from all you Bluebirds! I am now waiting for my loquat tree to produce it's bounty so I can make marmalade.
    Your Balsamic Sticky Glaze (Mimi's recipe from a Tray of Bliss) has become a regular gift (and very requested). Thank you! You and other bloggers have given me a life line, and provided a wonderful community.
    Much grace to each of you.
    Patricia/FL

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    1. Dear Patricia, I wanted to say Well Done to you for all you have been achieving. It takes bravery to keep on keeping on. I found it inspiring to read what you have been up to. I haven't tried the Balsamic Sticky Glaze as yet and am now making it a priority. Love Clare

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    2. Dear Patricia,
      Thank you for commenting. I am so happy hearing all you have been learning! You must be enjoying it too! You are doing so well! And I am proud of you for doing the Bluebirds door knock! Ask and you shall receive! Thats what I say!
      Mimi's Balsamic is yum. And as you say a good gift!
      There are just so many things we can make and learn. Sometimes an opportunity comes our way and very quickly we have to learn to make the most of it!
      Today I have had an offer to go picking figs. So of course I said yes! Ready to try some new ways with figs!
      Thank you for your beautiful comment. With love Annabel.xxx

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  4. Hi Annabel (and everyone),

    Annabel, I love seeing more of your farm, and Thomas is such a handsome little boy! Look at those curious eyes! Chloe looks lovely, too. You did amazing with all of your cooking and those fabrics are beautiful.

    It has been 2 weeks since our wild ice and snow storm and it has been balmy and sunny out this week. Our power/water restrictions have been lifted, so I have been catching up on all of the washing (linens, rugs, etc.) and it feels so good to have it done. I threw open all the windows to get some sunshine and fresh air in the house, and gave everything a good cleaning and dusting. We have really high ceilings and I have despaired of finding a good way to dust the corners up there - so I used my fan-blade cleaner (basically a big duster on a long stick!) It worked really well and I can't believe I didn't think of it before. No ladders needed! The guest bedroom got a rearrange and I hung some of my grandmother's oil paintings that have just been waiting for a home - it is a nice lift to see them and have everything looking pretty. We also got out to the store to pick up dry goods and baking supplies to restock the pantry. The greeting card stash was put to good use since there are several family birthdays in February - I really think having these cards on hand and purchased on sale, made, or from the thrift shop saves more money than we realize - last I checked, greeting cards were around $5-$6 US.

    I've had a couple of cooking days and made turkey broth and waffles to freeze, had a bread baking day, a batch of spaghetti sauce, and tried a new recipe for a depression-style cake that uses oil, vinegar, and baking soda instead of milk and eggs. It was a hit, and so easy.

    Crafts continue to be a great comfort and source of relaxation. I finished another pair of knitted socks and a scarf, and a wee cross-stitch that will go in our bedroom once I get it framed. There is something soothing and wonderful about all of the pretty colors and rhythm of hand work.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend!
    <3
    Kathy

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    1. Dear Kathy,
      I am so glad things are getting back to normal for you. I would be throwing the windows open too! In my old house the ceilings were so high! I did a similar thing. I had a long handled duster and I got another really long stick from the hardware store and joined them together. It reached 12 foot anyway. This house the ceilings are not so high.
      Cards in Australia are around $8 up to $10. Everyone I pick out certainly is. It is a lot!
      Turkey broth sounds very good. I have a Turkey carcass in the freezer so soon I will do the same. This could go into another batch of baby food.
      The depression cakes are very clever. A good recipe to try and have!
      Knitting is very relaxing I think. Soothing somehow! So is cross stitch. I think if we have nice things to work on it just so good for us. It feels so happy to be productive too!
      Have a good Sunday and new week! With love Annabel.xxx

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  5. Debby in Kansas USA5 March 2021 at 08:36

    You always inspire me to do so much. I enjoyed the little tour and the lesson in foxes. I had no idea they'd dig to get at a possible meal! I can see why you love that picture. It's beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Debby! Foxes can climb up and over things too. So everything has to have a cover. Scout hates foxes so she is another defence! Have a lovely Sunday and good new week! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  6. In South Carolina, we say, "I am feeling poorly." You do more in one week feeling poorly than most of us do feeling fine. I also collect rainwater for my garden. I have four 50 gallon tanks, one at a corner of the house and I'm going to put a fifth one out. It will not be as efficient as the corner tanks and certainly not as large as yours but they will go a long way toward watering the garden for free. We also use the water to flush the toilet if the power is out in a hurricane. Thank you for the update. The baby is beautiful

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    1. Dear Maria, I think that is a good expression! And thank you! It is great you collect water! Water storage is really important. A great asset.
      Thank you, yes he is a beautiful baby and I love this photo! With much love, Annabel.xxx

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  7. Hi Annabel,
    What a lovely week you had even if you though it was slow. Your water tanks are very nice. I have a couple of rain barrels and free rainwater is great and so good for the garden.
    Your cottage fix up is wonderful, what a transformation from start to finish.
    Another batch of great finds at the thrift store. The garden scene fabric is beautiful and the mother cat and kitten will be adorable. I recently found and old craft book to make a lying down mother cat and kittens from fat quarters and some other projects for $3.00.
    Good week at the grocery store as well because the frozen vegetables, canned tuna, and packs of salmon were all on sale.
    Spring is coming her although slowly. I'm heading to the garden store tomorrow to get my organic planting soil to mix in with my compost bin soil and then it will be time to start seeds. Yay!
    I'll bet Chloe is having such fun with Thomas. He looks like a snugglebunny.

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    1. Dear Laura,
      Having water stored is so important. And yes lovely for the garden!
      Thank you re the cottage. I am really looking forward to make up the cat and kittens! I like the kitchens and garden scenes too. It was such a day of good finds.
      I am glad you had success at the grocery store. All very good ingredients/produce too.
      It must be very exciting to start your seeds! And also just planning the garden!
      Have a good new week! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  8. Love seeing the photos of your farm Annabel. That photo of Chloe and Thomas is a lovely modern version of the Madonna and Child.
    I finally have my computer back from the computer Dr. A fan died in it on Christmas Eve. We had no idea that issues with replacements(from China) would have lead to such a long time between breakage and fixing.
    It is coming into the best time of year for the food garden here. I have tomato seedlings companion planted with sacred basil in the ground. The lettuce seedlings are at eating level. Bak Choy and Chinese cabbage seeds have sprouted and will be producing soon. I have other seeds out and am hoping to get them into seed pots soon. Our out of season pumpkin vine has over 20 fruit on it. We are looking forward to all this wonderful veg.
    I love those fabrics that you picked up. I went with some Quilting friends to a garage sale. The lady used to work at Spotlight and has a mammoth fabric stash that she has been downsizing. I picked up quite a lot of fabric from her sale. I am still trying to use up what I already have and have been making quite a bit. The little girls both have a little handbag for Easter. I used up some canvas and linen to make a large fabric bin for our Katie's Nursery. I also made a smaller one out of fabric that Jared's long time neighbour and Godmother gave to him. I made this into a small fabric bin for the Nursery.
    Before we went to the garage sale I was at a friends house when I spotted her gorgeous dog. I was intent on giving this fur baby a good pat, and completely missed the step. Over I went on the concrete veranda. Both hands and knees were skinned, along with my right shoulder. I haven't broken anything but my right hand is very tender and very bruised. By the way I did give the fur baby a cuddle.
    I wish I had your Mum closer. I am knitting a jumper on circular needles from the neck down and am having huge issues understanding the pattern. Pat would know what it all meant and save me having to undo the whole darn thing yet again. The undoing will have to wait until my hands swelling and bruising goes down.
    Lots of love to all. Life may be bruised and battered, but it is good.



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    1. Dear Jane,
      I have a noisy fan in my lap top. mmm I hope it doesn't kick the bucket entirely. Im glad you have your computer back.
      I am glad it is a good time for the garden there. Your garden has been very productive so I cant wait to see what you achieve this season as you have really expanded. I have to start again with my Pumpkins in Spring. Now I have my bunny fencing.
      That sounds like my kind of garage sale! Wow! I am glad you got some fabrics. This is the way I am amazed the price of fabrics now.
      I am so sorry about your fall! That is awful. A shake up too. I hope you are healing up.
      Mum is really good on circular needles but not big on patterns. But she could probably figure it out! She would help you endlessly as she loves you!
      Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

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  9. What is this about trees and water tanks?! ...... and hitting the wall every so often?! Haha!!

    In the last week, I was employed to help at the home garden where I usually work each week. This time, I was an assistant as ten year old trees were planted as part of a grand new garden design! I loved that each tree came in a welded wire basket, which is left in the ground to slowly rust away! I will have the job of watering them - the trees, not the baskets, each week! ....... There is also a running creek to be built into the new design! ...... They also had big green water tanks similar to yours added to their collection, only I was so busy that I didn’t notice that they were in place until the end of the day! Haha!! ..... I came home with bird of paradise plants for Dad and Mum, and a huge zucchini for me to eat!! ...... A chook from next door sometimes helps us with the gardening! We love that!

    Over summer, I learnt to appreciate oregano oil in the fight against parasites in the bush! One drop of oregano oil per gallon of water is now used for the chook water, and my drinking water (which comes from my parents’ tank!). One sick chook was nursed back to health on oregano tea! She quickly saw the pattern of having oregano tea from a small syringe each time I walked by, and later turned that into standing up where she was perching and having a drink, herself, each time I checked on her! She has now made a full recovery, and has dark, golden feathers!!

    Dad and I collected free timber pallets from businesses in town for the purpose of using the plywood (that some pallets have!) to line the old stables for the sheep! There was also a small solar panel electrical box being thrown out, so I kept that to use as a mail/parcel box!

    This was the week when I got my first ever phone up and running! I expect to be using the timer when I water those expensive trees!!

    That is a beautiful photo of Chloe and Thomas!!

    Thank you for your post, even as you are not feeling strong! (Join the club!)


    Rachel

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    1. What a doll Thomas is! He surely resembles his daddy :) They must be over the moon with him. The baby food looks delish - I'd eat it ;)
      Scout surely is your shadow, love her heart.
      So thankful the fox gave up before getting to your fowl. Yikes!
      One time I made some hot cocoa and THOUGHT I was adding a drop or two of orange oil...oops! It was oregano 😝 Read. the. labels. Mary!
      I'm sorry you were feeling puny~glad you were able to get good sleep.
      Are you dependent on the water you save for drinking water? Or is it saved for other purposes? Those are massive! We have 3 50-gallon water barrels and are amazed how quickly they fill with rain water. Mike uses the water for our backyard plants - he xeroscaped our front yard with rock and cactus and big rocks a few years back.
      Take good care of yourself~
      Love, Mary

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    2. Dear Rachel, That sounds like an amazing garden and experience with the big trees! Thank you for this information on oregano oil. I will remember this incase I need it for my chickens. I am sorry it sounds like you are under the weather too. I hope we both have fit and well new weeks! With love Annabel.xxx

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  10. Annabel I am glad you are feeling a little better and rest is what is needed sometimes to recover so I am glad you took the opportunity to sleep more and recuperate :) . The op shop finds on fabric is fantastic and I know you will make such good use of it. You still got a lot done with your cooking of baby food, dehydrating and processing of your lovely apples you picked even though you were feeling a bit drained.

    I love your cottage and the kitchen in there is the same almost to ours here in our home including the vents in the cupboards in some for storing vegetables and the like. You have done so much work and it looks beautiful and what we call here in our home rustically country. Picking up so many things at op shops and other places makes the finished project look all the more beautiful.

    Similar week here where I hit the wall earlier in the week with allergic asthma which slowed me down for a few days and like yourself I took time to sleep more and relax. Less was done but recuperating to me was more important. There is a lot of pollen and dust around , strong winds and rain on and off so it has been one of the worst allergy seasons I can remember for me since I was a child but I am feeling more energetic and with it now. Like yourself I did get a few much needed jobs done between times.

    I will also note for others that there was an article I found that said meat prices were about to rise in Woolworths due to many climatic and other conditions as well and the price of fruit and vegetables by as much as 30%. I think it is so much more important to do what we can to be more self reliant and do things ourselves and grow our own vegetables if we can.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $72.49 in savings last week :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 3 loaves of wholemeal white bread in our bread maker saving $10.47 over buying it locally.
    - Cook all meals from scratch and we had 2 meals from free supermarket tester meat samples I had.

    Earnings -
    - We earned $100 from a local gardening job we had. Also word has got out locally and we are now getting others who want gardening work done so it is good to bring in some extra income into the household.

    In the gardens-
    - DH whipper snipped a garden bed we had been taking soil out of to fill holes in the yard and we used the grass clippings to fill in a hole at the back of our property eaten out by the creek.
    - DH also tilled the garden bed to soften the soil so we can use more dirt to fill holes and level it out to make it easier for mowing.

    Finances -
    - We paid more into our home maintenance fund bringing us to 97.73% of the way to our goal and banked more into our 6 month emergency fund bringing us to 63.86% of the way there.
    - Paid another additional part payment off our mortgage to save time and interest off our loan.

    Internet listings -
    - I listed 10 items on an eBay free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Bought a 4.856 kg rump for $12.99 kg from IGA saving $43.80 on usual prices charged elsewhere and also purchased on markdown a kg of minced beef for $9.78 from Woolworths saving $1.72 on usual prices.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).



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    1. Thanks Lorna. I should follow my own advice as I think rest and recuperation are just needed sometimes and that actually prevention is best. Mum always said this and if we seemed to be coming down with something we were told to rest and try to "head it off" and often that worked pretty well.
      Oh my goodness your home maintenance fund is so close!! That one will soon be 100% then the other one will go faster too! Not bad for March!
      Thank you re the cottage. I like farm/country style too. I like simplicity. Somehow simplicity is goodness to me. In the cottage I like that the view out of each window is lovely. Just having clean windows made a big difference!
      I am sorry about your asthma being set off like that. Some pollens are pretty bad. Also moulds and wind will stir thing sup and it is even hard to know what is in the air. These are times to be careful and be inside a lot more. Maybe even an air purifier would be good for you in those times.
      The prices are rising and I noticed it with fruit especially lately. Meat too of course. So your steak was a major bargain! I am glad you found that.
      It sounds like your DH is doing well which is really good. He would probably be happy he can be out doing these jobs. You work so well as a team I always notice this especially with the way you work towards goals together.
      I hope this is a very good week and you feel better! With love Annabel.xxx

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  11. That picture of Chloe and the baby is so precious. Your making all that baby food for her is saving her so much money and healthier. That would have been so disappointing if the fox would have gotten your chickens. I hope you continue to feel better. Nancy

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    1. Dear Nancy,
      I love making the baby food. I feel it is something I can do to help. I would have been so upset if that fox got in. I was upset when it happened to Lucys hens and the kids saw all the dead chickens. Harper was crying. It was awful. So it is a battle.
      I hope you have a very good new week. With love Annabel.xxx

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  12. Dear Annabel, I am glad you are starting to feel better. My gosh your fabric find was great - I love the panels and cat toy pieces. Thank goodness you observed the fox hole - if you were away that day or didn't notice she might have come back. Chole and Thomas - happiness and joy in a photo. I have just now gotten home from taking my daughter to a Regional NSW Agriculture show with her Agriculture class. They showed sheep. They had to clean the sheep and get them ready, handle them and show them. My daughter loved it. To top off the day she won a rather large soft toy sheep on a dart/balloon game. I was looking forward to seeing all the craft but unfortunately due to covid and I guess time running out there was no craft pavilion. I did enjoy looking at the poultry, cattle and of course the sheep. There was a pumpkin competition. The winning pumpkin was 35kg. I wished I had grown pumpkins this year. I was surprised and happy to see a stall of material - mostly cottons. I asked if there was any flannelette. The lady showed me a small box of remnants - which I was able to purchase for not much. So a good end to a busy week at home. Have a good weekend everyone, love Clare

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    1. Dear Clare,
      I think yes the fox would have been back and kept going too. When he came back he was disappointed with cement!
      What a great experience for you daughter! And what good luck in winning a prize! It sounds like she had a wonderful day.
      I would loved to have seen that pumpkin! I had no pumpkin success this year either. Ill be trying again next spring!
      Glad you got some flannelettes! Are they for making your cleaning cloths Clare?
      With much love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Dear Annabel, Yes the flannelette is for my cleaning cloths. One has sheep on it! I have managed to rethread my over locker and get six cloths done today. I forgot to mention above that my biggest achievement this week was cleaning my Oven. When we moved here some months ago I did clean it but ran out of puff and it wasn't as thoroughly done as I'd like. So last week I soaked and scrubbed for three days and now it looks brand new and won't be as hard to clean next time. I keep going over to it and opening it to look at it. Love Clare.

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  13. Hi Annabel and fellow Bluebirds. It's been awhile since I commented but I am always reading along and have joined the Tuesday Group so I can see all the wonderful things you are all making. Annabel when I saw the photo of Chloe and Thomas I thought it was you holding him, until I took a second look and realised it was Chloe. Gosh you are so alike. Thomas is just gorgeous. What a happy wee boy he looks. And no wonder with a Grandma who makes him such delicious meals.
    We have just come back from 9 nights away in our happy place. It was bliss. I have already booked a place for next year. The peace and quiet is what I love. Although this year it was much more full with all the retirerees who would normally be on the Gold or Sunshine Coast. Of course that's not possible at the moment, so they are travelling NZ instead. I have never seen so many campervans in one place.
    What a beautiful place the farm is. The cottage looks fantastic by the way. It was just as I pictured it would be. The difference with the before and after photos is incredible. What a lot of work you had to do.
    Work is promising to be another busy year ahead. It is with this in-mind I have realised how important the break to our happy place is to me. As I get older it is a priority. I need to know I will return to replenish and recharge for the coming year.
    Take care everyone. This year will continue to have it's challenges so we need to look after ourselves and our loved ones.

    Mandy(NZ)

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    1. Dear Mandy,
      Thats a compliment thanks Mandy! I am glad you had a beautiful 9 nights away! I didn't think of travellers shifting spots to NZ re covid. But yes you would be probably be getting many more!
      I think you are right. The daily grind is wearing. For our mental states and immune systems too be need to have breaks. I think clearer after a break.
      Thank you so much for commenting! Have a very good new week! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  14. That baby is so cute! It looks like his healthy foods are working.

    This past week was the first week of the month so it is when I stock up with most of my grocery shopping. I'm noticing shortages in various areas, some are continuing from last spring and others are fairly new.

    A friend gave me a vacuum sealer as a gift that I haven't used in a few months so I plan to get it out and vacuum seal some canning jars of dried milk and dried eggs to make those items last longer than their Use By dates. A lot of people I trust are still feeling the need to deepen their pantries as much as possible.

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    1. Dear Brenda,
      I am reading along and glad you cans tock up. We need to keep an eye on what is in short supply. Some things we can swap out but some things we need to keep a close eye on. Im. always looking for WHY is it in short supply? Weather, covid restrictions, transport issues? it all tells us a lot.
      I love my vac sealer for sealing jars. All my dehydrated goods I then seal the jar. I think its fantastic. Anyway I think its another way to extend shelf life and this is a valuable thing.
      Thanks so much Brenda, with love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Dear Annabel
    Baby Thomas!! What a gorgeous little baby!
    Hoping you have a restful week :)
    Love & Blessings
    Heidi xx

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    1. Thanks so much Heidi. It has been a pretty good week. I hope for you too! xxx

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  16. Amazing photo of Chloe and Thomas! He sure looks like his daddy. Congrats on the fabric scores at the op-shop. Thankful the fox didn't get your chooks. :)

    For the past 2 years I have participated in the Vicky challenge, calling it my Frugal Accomplishments. I save us on the avg. $ 230 a week! Needless to say, my husband LOVES having me at home. We eat better and our quality life is so much better than our peers.
    My latest adventure is learning how to cook more Asian food. I checked out some great Asian cookbooks at the public library. We are all enjoying it. Many of the recipes are very economical (read using up every little scrap of leftover veg and meat). Also my 11 yr. old daughter helps me in the kitchen with baked goods. We had fun crushing up old fruit-flavored candy canes and stirring the crumbs into cookies. We also enjoyed sprinkling the last of some candied nuts on top of a batch of brownies. Hot cocoa was a nice winter treat served at breakfast with toast/rolls and eggs. This homemade drink mix helped me to save on the cost of milk.
    Had a lovely sunny day today. So while my bread dough rose, I got the first of our raised beds planted. Of course, I had help. Our 3 youngest (11, 9, & almost 8) had a blast planting. Love working with my kids! ;)
    Have a blessed week Bluebirds!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Leslie,
      Yes Thomas sure looks like Luke! I have to agree!
      Since the fox scare we have done heaps so I am hoping the warning was a helpful thing kind of.
      Leslie I counted every saving I could for about three years. Yes I saved many hundreds per week. And yes... it can mean better meals and better many things from atmosphere to preparedness. I wish more people did the maths. There are many important and needed jobs and I appreciate them but for women who want to be home the money they can save at home is astonishing.
      We have had sunshine too and I have been doing the same. It is good for us! I sleep well after a day of sunshine and gardening! I love how the kids are helping too. With love, Annabel.xxx

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  17. Annabel,
    Thomas is adorable! I love those chunky little legs. I am so glad you are feeling better too. It is hard to get moving after we've been ill and things seem to back up at the same time. We are waiting out the last bit of winter yet so still have plenty of days that require a fire, but I hang clothes on the drying rack so it is being put to good use. I have been doing a lot of reading and not as much crafty stuff, but I made Addie more play dough and crocheted more flowers that I'm going to be using later. I also cut a lot of small fabric squares for quilting or crafting and cut a vintage sheet into bigger pieces for a quilt or blanket for later. My guys love homemade churros and I like making them, but boy are they hard to pipe because the dough is thick.
    I cleaned out the fridge and used up tidbits and made soup and twice baked potatoes, a salad, and some mini ham and cheese sandwiches.
    I got a free case of overnight baby diapers, several perfume samples, a free bottle of disinfectant and dishwasher tablets.
    Rick did repairs on a few things and saved us $200 in repair fees and every day we are still getting a dozen eggs. $14. So not a bad week.
    XOXO
    Vicky

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    Replies
    1. Dear Vicky,
      Thanks! Yes he is so cute and chubby. Normally he very cheerful but this week he has been a little off. Chloe not well either.
      Play dough is wonderful to make. We would get out the cookie cutters and make "cookies/biscuits and my Dad would present to eat them.
      Churros sound so good. I have only had them once!
      Nice work on the free things! All good stuff too!
      Well done to Rick on the savings through repairs. And a dozen eggs a day is amazing and you can do so much with them! That is really wonderful.
      I hope this week has been good too. It all adds up! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  18. Several frugal savings this week: We purchased a hog to be butchered from a co-worker. We will pick that up on Tuesday.
    Found a neighbor is selling eggs for $3 p/dozen. Farm eggs !
    Purchased broccoli, cabbage, carrots and asparagus on sale this week.
    Had a $3 off coupon for the saline rinse we use to help with allergies.

    I am starting another Pantry Challenge as of immediately. I defrosted one of my freezers for the pork and I only have 1.5 shelfs empty. The chest freezer is totally full. I made my menu for the week and it is all freezer foods. I will only be buying produce and dairy as we run out. (Cheese, cream, salad veg.)
    It's a good feeling to be so supplied.

    PS The photo of your calf below reminded me. We are calving now. 4 little ones in the lot, 9 more to go this spring. :D

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