Feather your Nest Friday, 7th May, 2021.

 It was a busy week.  Actually a bit too hectic.   Twice a day I have checked the sheep but no lambs yet!  They look fat, I say this in a non insulting way, but they can still run I notice.   

I finally yarded up my most recent lamb, Buddie.   Buddie does not believe in fences so I am not sure how long this will last! 

I did a big stock up shop in town.  There were lots of errands to run.  I was putting away groceries into the evening.  But I am glad of it.    

At the op shop I had a good find. 

I was happy to get these! 

I was able to put lots of eggs to good use and made up two big impossible pies.  These are so good and the lunches that follow are lovely too.

Another day we had a team here drilling a bore.  This proved to be an expensive exercise in finding salty water. 

It was really disappointing but in the end I think we found a solution, a place with good water and some work to do.   We also collect a huge amount of rain water.  The guys were very good and helpful.  So next week we continue on and the idea is to be set up with enough good water for the whole farm.

A second trip to the op shop got me reels of old cottons, a pretty half slip for under a skirt that needs one, a yard of calico and a box of beautiful writing paper.   

Another "set it to good use" project was using the Quinces my neighbour gave me.  I cooked them down into Quince paste.  This is so beautiful with crackers and cheese.  It is expensive in the stores too.

There is joy in cooking Quinces.  They are rock hard, yellow and kind of ugly to start with but they cook and turn ruby in colour.  They have a beautiful and unique scent.  Just lovely!   Finally cooked down like this they are so good and this keeps a long time.  I got four large blocks.   I think I should plan a picnic and take a cheese platter kind of lunch.   

I made some gift tags using a free image from Shabby Art Boutique.  I made 60!   Then I packaged them up into sets as gifts plus one little tin full.

This used up so many little bits and pieces to add to the sewing theme.  
I also packaged up the tags I made last week.   

We are desperately hoping for rain.  All my photos show how dry it is.   I saw quite a few deer this week.  They might be roaming further looking for grass. 

Everywhere I go I watch for cuttings and plants to dig up.   This week I found many lavender bushes by digging up branches that had taken root around a very old bush. I am very hopeful these will give me many new plants!  

I invested in leather boots and colostrum replacement for my animal pantry.   Two good investments I thought! 

This report doesn't seem to adequately explain how it all went by in such a rush.   But sometimes it is the daily regular work that really is a lot.  The housework, garden work, animals and so on all takes a fair bit of my day.  We can be so busy and yet when someone asks us what have we been doing we go completely blank.    That is in part why I find it so helpful to look back over the week.  Stuff got done!  We got ahead and made the most of lots of opportunities.  I learned some more.  So now if it will rain and I can have a little bit of catch up time on the weekend it would be perfect!   

How did you build up your home or pantry this week?  Are you working in the garden?  We love to hear!  If you kept your family fed and tucked everyone happily into bed each night that is success. xxx 


  1. I always enjoy your weekly recap. I agree, taking a moment to record what I have done helps me to see the progress (or lack thereof!) and gives me a more realistic perspective. I hope you get some lovely, soft rain!

    1. Dear Lonibelle, We did! And it is Mothers Day now and I woke up to more rain! Best gift I could get! Thank you so much! Love Annabel.xxx

  2. Sounds like a LOT of stuff got done! No gardening here yet, we are still having morning frosts - kind of late in the season, but it happens.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. Dear Cheryl, I hope the frosts clear for you soon. Around our area there are a lot of vineyards. In each area there is a huge windmill and they run those as the slow motion apparently keeps frost from setting in. It is really interesting to see. However we do not get snow or ice!
      Have a good weekend to you too! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. I love the rick-rack! They will be so lovely to trim so many things! I am sorry about your water woes. We have had them, too. A few weeks ago we started pulling up a lot of sediment and mud on our water so well service came out and raised our pump 40 feet in hopes that it would solve the problem. Nope. So they came back and ran a camera down the well and found tree roots had broken through the well casing. So we had to have our well relined and since our pump was 21 years old and it was cheaper to have it replaced while the well was open we did that, too. It has been 8 days and the water is still pulling sediment and bleach that they had to put down. Hopefully it will be clear soon. I was thankful to have plenty of bottled water in our storage.

    We have our green beans and tomatoes and some herbs started and I am working on the flowers. We cut Hubby's hair. We restocked some food items that had run low on our shelves. We are not finding any empty shelves but prices are definitely up.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      Oh the water is so good when there are no issues! Then it is costly to sort out. I hope it runs clear for you soon. Good on you for having water stored!
      I hope your garden does really well. Well done on keeping your shelves stocked. Everyone is mentioning price rises, some severe jumps. I noticed last week so many comments about this actress social media and friends telling me.
      Have a good weekend to you also and Happy mothers Day! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Good morning! Hope the bore finds good water soon. We had bore water in Wagga - even in a 7 year drought we were able to have water! Amazing how God can provide if we use the brain he gave us. I strike lavender every year. It's really easy to do - here's the way I was taught by Wayne's Granny to do it - simple. The strikes I take are off strikes that came from Wayne's mother's lavender bed - I like to keep it in the family :) HOW TO STRIKE LAVENDER PLANTS
    Lavender is very easy to propagate, meaning you may never have to buy another plant if you follow these simple steps.

    Step 1. Cut a stem of lavender about 10cm - 15cm (4 - 6 inches) long. Make sure it doesn't have any flowers on it and is still soft and flexible - you don't want any old, woody stems.

    Step 2. Remove the leaves from the lower two-thirds of the stem. I do this by gently running my fingers down the stem - it's faster than pulling them off one-by-one.

    Step 3. Dip the cut end in honey, and the plant the cutting into seed raising mix or a good quality potting mix or rich garden soil - whatever you have on hand. Make sure the container has good drainage. I use toilet roll planters as these can be put straight into the garden when the cutting is ready to be transplanted.

    Step 4. Keep the cutting moist and in a sunny window. It will be ready to go into the garden in about 4 - 6 weeks. You'll see new growth, the sign it is ready to transplant. If you've used the toilet roll planters just dig a hole the depth of the roll and plant. Easy!

    Keep the cuttings moist but not drowning in water their first summer in the garden so they establish a good, strong plant.

    And then expect to be cutting flowers from your free lavender plants next summer.

    So simple, and when a lavender plant at the nursery is around $8, it saves a bundle of money. I've been cutting strikes for about a month now, so that they winter under the verandah and are ready to plant out in September when the frosts are gone.

    1. Dear Cath, Thank you so much! I am going to Mums today and she has lovely established lavenders and a couple of types. So I will take my cuttings and get them dipped in honey tonight. From the directions I see one way I go wrong. I assumed to use the woody ends to plant. That never worked. So I am literally using this information today! Thank you! I have lots of pots and good soil.
      Have a wonderful Mothers Day Cath! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Thank you, Cath! I will use this as well. I was gifted with 2 lavender plants today, and now I will know how to winter them.

    3. Thank you Cath!! I shall try this.

    4. Thank you Cath, I am so going to try this method xx

    5. Hi Cath,

      Thank you for these wonderful instructions! I am going to try my hand at lavender cuttings this week!


    6. Thank you Cath. I've just planted step by step 3 lavender stems. I have never heard about dipping in honey...my first try
      Fingers crossed!

  5. Lovely tags! And such nice rick rack. You did have a busy week. My!
    How different your deer are than our mule deer here in North America. Although I'm sure they can do just as much damage to gardens as ours do. I appreciate their serene presence from a distance. ;)

    Funny, I think we all have had those busy weeks/days that go by in a blur. And yet so many small things are accomplished!
    Well, my week was so busy that I forgot to make my weekly call to my eldest daughter. Texted her an apology: " I'm planting and canning like a mad woman!" We got 2 new raised beds in and mulch dumped in several beds. And tomatoes and peppers growing in the kitchen. I must weed around the root veggies tomorrow as we've had much rain. (I appreciate rain as I grew up near the Mojave Desert in so. California). Jes' scrap cookbook got me motivated to save all my apple cores and peels. So I have many jars of lovely Apple Jewel Jelly lined up in my kitchen. My 11 yr. old daughter and I enjoyed making fudge together. Some of it is for my m-i-l for mother's day.

    Looking forward to school ending next Friday as I will have the summer off. I have a big pantry redo and a rabbit hutch to build. Looking forward to everyone else's reports.
    Blessings to you, Annabel and all the Bluebirds!

    1. Dear Leslie, We have a few different kinds of deer and I would like a photo of one with antlers but they never stand still! I dont think I have seen Mule deer. I will look this up. Another one is Big Deer. Their noses do look like hogs! (not pretty)
      Apple Jewel Jelly is heavenly. I still have apples so I must make some. My scraps are hugely popular with the animals but I want to make this. Jes' scrap book is amazing.
      It will be beautiful to reach Friday with a break ahead of you! I need a pantry re do. Have a lovely weekend and hope the last week of school goes well. With love Annabel.xxx

    2. We have white tail deer in northern Idaho USA. The white is on the bottom of their tails. They are beautiful creatures, but there are too many of them.

      Today I was cleaning my patio for summer and moving the furniture around. I was putting the umbrella in the hole of the glass top table and apparently put too much pressure on one side of the hole...the glass shattered. The shards were about the size of a 1 carat diamond ring! You have never seen such a mess. It took about two hours to clean up and then I was shot for the rest of the day. There is going to be a neighborhood yard sale in about two weeks. I am planning to put the table and 6 chairs in the driveway with a FREE sign on the table and hope for $50 for the 6 chairs. I know I could just buy a table and continue using the chairs, but they weren't very comfortable to begin with.

      I am normally not very good about selling things, but this week I have sold two oil lamps, a lawnmower and two suitcases for a total of $400...and now I know how I will be spending it, LOL.


  6. Dear Annabel,

    It always does me good to come here and read about your week. I found it very interesting to see a picture of a deer there...it must be a different type than we have here, as it looks really different! And it's funny, but that's never really been something I'd ever thought about...that there might be different types of deer. You learn something new every day!

    Been busy here with the room reno. Walls and trim are all painted, carpet (one of the last ones in the house) shampooed, outlets changed from beige to white, and now we're on to painting furniture and making curtains, etc. Getting there a little more slowly than I had envisioned, but it seems that's always the way with renos. Part of the trouble is that now we're in another strict lockdown and we can't get out to do the shopping for used furniture (nightstands, etc.) and for lighting, etc. I've bought some things online, but I always prefer to buy big ticket items locally, if possible, and where I can see them ahead of time in real life! We're doing our best, and hopefully it'll all come together soon. I need to do some birthday sewing this week, so hope to have some time away from the paintbrush for that! I was thinking of you and knew you could sympathize with all the trim I was painting from your mega painting year not so long ago! :)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I am glad to hear that you will hopefully have a water solution in the near future.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you! I think over the week does me good too. And now it is Sunday evening here and I am considering the new week ahead. I hope you had a Happy Mothers Day.
      Well done on all the work on the bedroom. It will look totally different from all you have done! I did not know about your lockdown. We get some USA news but not so much Canadian. Although.... I have seen about a Canadian Minister/Pastor being arrested and I think he is the same one I saw earlier ... the police went into a church service and he kicked them out and it went global. I do not know the whole story but what I saw of it I admired his courage.
      Ahh yes I remember the mega painting year. It took me a long time to get rid of tennis elbow in both arms! It should be called painters elbow! You must feel very accomplished and I hope you get some sewing done. Have a very good new week, with love Annabel.xxx

  7. I just love your blog and your stories. I lurk every week but don't post often. I am so envious of all your op shop finds. Where I live in the States, our op shops are filled with clothing primarily. I've never seen fabric or ribbons in my Goodwill store. Our garden is planted and everything has come up already. We have had great success with our seeds this year and have had about a 95% germination rate. I think praying over it works wonders :) Last Sunday we planted 2500 sunflower seeds and a week from tomorrow we have plans to plant 2500 more. I am hopeful that I can sell them and recover the cost for the seeds for both the sunflower seeds and the garden seeds. Our prices for both are higher than last year so it would be nice to recover some of that expense. We have also planted extra product with the hopes we can sell some of that, too. Someday I hope that I can get in a routine of baking again and stocking my freezer with homemade goodness. Your blog inspires me to do better and be better all the time. Thank you for all the work that you put into it.

    Denise in TN

    1. Dear Denise, Thank you so much and thank you for commenting. You have made me very curious... firstly we had Marie Konto? And another show about decluttering... this cause stacks of stuff to be cleared out of houses which was an op shoppers dream. Grandmas heirlooms were deemed to not bring joy and out they went. Then we had covid on top of that and people were at home and spring cleaned and re organised and painted and so on. So next time you go into a thrift store ask WHERE does all the yarn, fabric, sewing notions etc go!? Anyone reading if you know please share! Here is varies from store to store... ie some stores have a big book section. Some of them have a big craft section. One I know has a big fabric section.
      I just love how many sunflowers you have planted! I hope you get a wonderful crop. I imagine you could sell so many they are beautiful.
      Denise what I do is very often just cook double or cook extra and put away a meal. To me that is a meal that could be very good if I am sick or some other time. Label them well. Also some things from the store that as ingredients add up to a very quick and easy meal. One of mine is Tuna Mornay. I can make that entirely from pantry ingredients and fast. I also think a slow cooker is the biggest help.
      It really encourages me to have your comments so thank you very much! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Where I live, Goodwill does not accept fabric or notions, therefore does not sell them. I am sure they have their reasons. However, several other thrift stores--typically smaller, local ones--do sell fabric, etc.

  8. Hi Annabel, not sure if this comment will successfully post but here goes! Love your blog and the animal photos and stories. Plus hearing about your plants, animals and life really is interesting since it is so different than here in the desert southwest of the US. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and ideas.

    1. Thank you! Yes you were successful and I appreciate it. I feel like I have a bit of an image of the south as in Texas... but not the south West like Florida area. I love your country though and have been to LA and Disneyland of course years ago. But I love the people. It is the USA ladies who have taught me most about "putting up" food and I love that term!
      Have a very good new week. With love Annabel.xxx

  9. " If you kept your family fed and tucked everyone happily into bed each night that is success. xxx " That's sweet and comforting, Annabel💖. I still marvel every time you strike gold at the Op Shops you frequent. I think all the goodies from the other shops around the world must migrate down there so you'll buy them and put them to good use, LOL!
    That quince paste looks so good. How neat that it starts out kinda ugly and gives off its lovely fragrance and color after it's been cooked. And, then ya get to eat it!! Sounds yummy with some soft cheese and crackers.
    I hope your drillers find you some good water next week...and that you get some good rain.
    Love to you and all the critters💖 Mary

    1. Dear Mary,
      Very often I find it is not possible to get extra done but the basics of everyone fed and comfy in bed is a good day for sure. And it takes a lot for that.
      It is sounding like on a world wide scale country Australia might still have good thrift shopping. In the cities some of the prices have gone mad though.
      We did have some rain and we hope for some more. I am thrilled we had some!
      Have a very nice new week Mary, with love Annabel.xxx

  10. Dear Annabel, Your Quince Paste and note cards look so beautiful. I hope you have baby lambs and water by the time you read this. This week my daughter has been unwell. I was so happy to have a medicine stockpile as I was able to give her everything she needed right away. I felt happy to read your last paragragh "if you kept your family fed and tucked everyone happily into bed each night"...... because that is all I felt I achieved this week. I sent my DH to my parents on his own this weekend as we had a trip planned and a truck loaded with things for my Dad and a list of jobs that DH was able to help with. He also delivered Mothers day messages and yellow carnations to our two Mums and his Nana on the way. My Mum is sending him home with a box of Medlars from a lady up the road (I was supposed to go pick these myself), I sent two dish cloths and a jar of apricot jam in exchange. I had never heard of this fruit. I love learning surprising things. This tree was planted in 1963 and a few ladies come from all over the place to get them every year. I looked up my books and have two recipes to try - one jam, one liqueur. I love it when I learn something surprising that was there all along. My DD made two little heart shaped notes this morning for Mothers Day - one from her and one from our animals (she said Timmy the sheep can't spell very well because he didn't go to school and Ray the dog's message was messy because he couldn't hold the pen very well). They were very sweet and I will treasure them always. This week I was gifted 3 dozen eggs from different people and it was a blessing as I am not getting any eggs at the moment. Early in the week I drove to a town 2 hours away to meet a loved cousin visiting that town from the city. I took a table cloth to put over a park table and made sandwiches and took tea with proper teacups, sugar squares etc. The autumn weather was perfect and it was such a lovely catchup. We went to a factory outlet afterwards together so I was also able to build up my supplies a lot that day too. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I hope M is feeling better. It is so good to have things on hand. I always thought the girls one ever got sick on Sundays and Public holidays and in the middle of the night! So having stuff was a big help.
      It is great how your husband was the delivery man! Also I have not heard of this fruit either! I will be interested in what you do with them.
      I like your little Mothers Day hearts. I would keep them always too!
      To get three dozen eggs is great. So much you can do. I made a pie tonight and filled it with spinach and bacon and it was beautiful. So easy and lunch tomorrow. I just love that you took a table cloth for the park table! I dont know why I never thought of doing that but it is just beautiful! I am stealing this idea. What a nice meet up with your cousin!
      I am sorry to be so slow to reply. My week also has been meals and bed has been achieved but not always much else. And I am still waiting on lambs! It seems like forever because of waiting each day! With much love, Annabel.xxx

  11. Hi Annabel

    Party planning is under way. Invitations were hand made as will be decorations. Some food has been purchases for the past few weeks that can be stashed away.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.

    Eggs from our neighbour were a great gift and we gifted them our vegetable scraps. I have slowly been making my way through a pantry clean but an infection sidelined me and I had to resort to antibiotics or had the choice of hospital....who would chose hospital. Not me

    Loved your gift tags that you made and I will go and look at that website as I will need some for our home made Christmas gift tags.

    Unfortunately we have had to buy a new car in the last week, so I have decided on a few more hand made gifts for Christmas. I am looking forward to doing this.

    I so love your animal photos. Seeing the animals grow is so amazing to watch. Oh we got an new animal this week. DD10 has been wanting a fish for so long, so with some left over Birthday and Christmas money the tank was set up and now we have a beautiful red Betta Crown fish named "Bubbles"

    Cooking wise I have made up a few items for the freezer as this came in handy being so unwell. Just defrosting an heating was enough for me and DD10

    Hope you have a great week ahead

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      It is lovely you can save your traps for the neighbours chickens and end up with some fresh eggs!
      I hope you are feeling much better and the infection is cleared up. I am glad you could avoid hospital.
      With your skills Aly you will make beautiful gifts. And you still have lots of time. You will do well!
      I love fish! I really would like a pond outside... something else to aim for!
      Meals ready when you are not well is a huge help. And really when not well we should be eating well... so this is a good way to do it. I am adding easy things as well as thaw and heat things. They will come in handy no doubt sometime.
      Do hope you are better. With love Annabel.xxx


Post a Comment

Popular Posts