Feather your Nest Friday, 30 July, 2021.

 We had a week of hail, thunder, lightening, rain and wind.  As one storm would pass another would roll in!   Most of this time over half of Australia was in lockdowns.   Some of you have written to me to ask if the news you were hearing about us was true.  Some of it sounded outlandish but yep it was all true.  The army is now patrolling Sydney streets, just to save anyone who might be wondering if that is true!

I have to admit some of that I am seeing and experiencing scares me.   There seems to have been challenges and worries all around me.  I am back to Elizabeth Elliots' "do the next thing" and to take it one day at a time.    We can make the most of each day and do what we can.  

I have been thinking on being "of good courage."   "Take courage!  Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.  Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage.  Wait for the Lord."    There is much we can do.  We can have a massive impact everyday.  

So with appointments cancelled, and it blowing a gale outside,  I decided to attack the craft/sewing room and have a major reorganise.  I measured up a space and ordered shelving then began to box and jar up all kinds of things into groups from mending patches to chalk pens.   I am still going but once my shelves arrive the room will have improved tremendously.   I know what I have and how much!

Mimi gave me beautiful waterslide decals.  I used them to make over a heap of boxes for craft storage.    I used lots of jars for small bits and pieces. 

I added labels to some little bottles for my vanilla essence.  I got them from Jes  at Mistress of the House.    She has beautiful labels.  As I am using most of these as gifts I wanted my presentation to look good.   The essence smells amazing.  

Other ways we got ahead and got things done included:

I cut Andy's hair.

I had two bonfires to clean up different areas of the yard.  This was possible due to one fine day which was yesterday.   A day of actual sunshine was too good to miss so we worked outside the whole day.   The sun did me good.  There was a feeling of Spring in the air too.   One of the trees we planted last week has leaves!  Another has pink blossoms just opening!  So they hit the ground running, so to speak! 

We put the last of the framework up to support netting to hopefully save our crop from the birds. 

Overall the orchard is looking neat and good!   

The garden is another story.  Each day I fill a bucket with weeds and give them to the chooks.  So gradually I hope to bring it back under control. 

Amongst the craft room mess I teamed up some fabric with some patterns and found I have some beautiful things lined up to make.  I cut into some recycled velvets to make some bags.  

As I end up with smaller bits I am cutting them up to make luscious thick velvet pin cushions for little gifts.

With all the wind we had lots of branches down.  Some of these go to the goats.  They love everything!  

The shops were all shut except for the supermarket and the chemist.  I did an online order which Andy went in to pick up.  I hoped the order would be filled.   When he got home I was happy to get everything!  So even with lockdown I kept ahead with the pantry.  So happy about that.

The chickens have started laying better again.  They were not laying well for a while but we are back to a dozen a day.  When everyone is laying (which I hope is soon) I should be getting 30 a day! 

How did you build up your home this week?  I hope you were able to keep ahead with the pantry.  I have been digging around in my freezer and coming up with some nice roasts and warming meals.    When I get the craft room finished the pantry is next!  xxx


  1. I’m so sorry to hear about the lockdowns and army presence in your country. Our hope is in The Lord....I’m grateful we share that same hope and I will be praying for your family. How is the little orphaned lamb you took in a few weeks back? I’m thankful for your posts....they are so full of helpful ideas and encouragement in such a time as this. Love, Jessica

    1. Dear Jessica, Thank you! That little lamb did not make it. I really tried and spent hours a day feeding it. I think it had gone too long without milk. I am always really sad when I lose one. I hope I can save more in the future. I never know when an orphan will come in so I try to be ready. Haaa I have to pick up and give myself a talking to and keep going! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. That is sad to hear. It looked like it was doing so well too. I am so sorry to hear about the awful developments going on in Australia . In a lot of ways it all seems so unbelievable and as if it can't get any crazier.... and then it does.
      I have continued with my pantry and thinking ahead to Christmas already. I am also collecting seeds for my garden next year and hoping to expand on fruit trees. We have a pear and quite a few apple trees. One bramley, I would like another as it is getting old. I also would like to get some more blueberries and gooseberries.
      After seeing the pictures of your goats I may have to add a couple of them to the list too! :)
      Much love, Heidi xxx

  2. Dave suggested since I didn’t pick blackberries yesterday that there might be some ripe ones ready. The container that is almost filled is a 48 oz one! https://pin.it/4yirC2x
    I bought a single bare root blackberry plant in a quart size milk carton from Sam’s club for $7.

    This Spring I sold about $75 in blackberry cuttings that I had rooted over the winter.

    This summer I have now harvested and frozen 8 quarts of blackberries with no end in sight! The bushes are still loaded with berries turning ripe!!

    And we will take more cuttings this fall.

    Hmmmm…….. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” Was it worth the investment??

    I’m thinking the answer is YES!!!!!πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

    Baby steps toward more self-reliance! Much less frequent trips to grocers!

    Now to shred up some zucchini!! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

    1. Dear Gardenpat, Dave was right! You turn your back and more blackberries ripen!
      You have done well with the Lilacs and the Blackberries. I think you found a little market there. What a good demonstration of how making a wise investment can pack back such great dividends. Both food and profit! With the chickens and the garden you are already quite self reliant. This is my goal also! With love, Annabel.xxx

  3. Thank you for the photos again, I am wondering how the little lamb got into the wheel barrel ;). And sorry to hear the other little lamb didn’t make it. I hadn’t heard the army was patrolling Sydney! Dear me that is crazy talk isn’t it? I truly enjoy your blog, thank you again for the time you spend and the kindness and optimism you share with us.

    1. Dear Traveling Oltmans, The little one in the wheel barrow is Billy the baby goat. They jump up and into everything. I cant believe how high they jump. And they balance. So they both jump in usually. It is like a cirus!
      Yes things are somewhat scary. Thank you. We really have to keep our spirits up! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Oh, dear Annabel - I, too, cannot believe the crazy nonsense of govt. "intervention" down there. You and all of your countrymen/animals are in our prayers. Like someone said above, I don't know how people keep it together w/o the Lord. I was reminded this week, while reading Romans, that Paul was talking about the government he lived under...If memory serves, he was living at the time of Nero's rule. Talk about a madman! But, he just said to do the right thing and not fear. I think his eyes were so focused on the Lord and the Lord's plans for him, he didn't waste time fretting.
    I'm so thankful for your healthy mind-set, constantly focusing on what can be done around the home to keep peace, needs met, spirits up, etc.
    It is sad the lamb-y didn't make it here - but, I trust it has been welcomed into the Good Shepherd's loving arms. Precious little thing :*( I know it broke your heart.
    Our God is more than enough....period. I'll keep it short this week.
    Sending much love and prayers, MaryπŸ’–πŸ™πŸ»

    1. Dear Mary,
      The media are even censoring people talking about what is happening. Its a shock really as two years ago I would never have imagined any of this. It has escalated lately very fast. So sometimes I have a bit of a panic feeling. I need to keep on top of that. We really have to enjoy the beauty around us, nature, animals and do our best. Mary for some reason I am even worse when a calf dies. Oh boy I will never get used to that. But I have more wins than losses and that keeps me going.
      Sending love and prayers back to you! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Believe me, we have censorship here in the US too!!!!!!

      Our new Administration is keen on no one *bucking The Given Line.*

      But thankfully, they have not been able to silence everyone.

      So far......


  5. I am sorry to hear about the crazy state of your country. I just don't know what to think of anything anymore. Illegals and criminals are flowing over our southern border unchecked and it is supposed to be a good thing. People are at each other's throats about the vaccine and no one seems to be allowed to think for themselves anymore. We are still capable of making our own decisions! What would we do without the Rock that we cling to? I'm so glad you got all of your grocery order.

    We were thankful to get some rain this week, too. It is extremely hot here but that will break early next week. We had an awful week of tense relationships, the freezer door left open a crack, and stress on all sides that is not resolved. Also a friend had risky surgery and came through it okay but now has a long recovery. I just keep turning to prayer as I cannot see any other way for my broken heart.

    1. Dear Lana, Well yes the massive number of illegal immigrants I heard are bused and flown around ... which doesn't make sense with covid does it? But here people cannot have a visitor in their house but you can go to a brothel. So makes no sense. You cant sing in church but you can shout at the football.
      I hope it cools down for you. Also I hope the new week will be easier! I hope your friend recovers well too. Keep praying and we keep going. Whatever has happened Lana I hope and pray for you. With love and hugs, Annabel.xx

  6. Wow! Just when we all believed life was returning to normal. So sorry for what has been happening Down Under. So glad for you Annabel, that we were able to concentrate on your duties.
    Love those labels from Jes! Thanks for continuing to share and be an inspiration to the rest of us. :)

    God has enabled me to also carry on with my duties despite my husband's job loss. I do my job and he does his, right? I was blessed with much frozen chicken last week. After deboning much of the meat, I'm now using the bones to cook broth. So thankful for my slow-cooker to accomplish both cooking the meat and then the broth. Slowly picking from the garden... Mostly, I'm making up baby photo albums for my 2 youngest, before school starts. What a blessing to get all our old photos printed up and off digital. Everyone has been perusing the photos while I work. So many good memories recalled.
    Blessings to you all!

    1. Dear Lesley,
      I am so sorry about your husbands job loss. Yes we need to carry on with what we can. And usually that is a lot! It is so good to make broth. I truly thing bone broth and stock are so nutritious. Nothing else like it. A slow cooker is perfect. Long slow cooking is the best.
      It is a very good idea to have printed photos. I fear a whole generation will end up with none as they think "the cloud" is a safe place! Also photos make very good gifts and making up albums too is very nice. We love to look back over photos. Very precious.
      Thank you Leslie for your kind words. With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Don't get me started on Covid! All I can say is that we are all vaccinated and doing well.

    We returned from visiting our son and daughter-in-law Sunday. Long drive, good visit, though!

    Only a few frugal accomplishments to report--
    My daughter gave me a purse that she ordered online and was too big for her. She started a new job out of town and missed the window for returns. It is something I would never have bought for myself, but do you know, I like it!

    My daughter and I wandered through a thrift store while visiting my son. I spotted a gorgeous Ralph Lauren cocktail dress for $8. The perfect "little black dress," but navy blue, and probably worn once or twice. Colleen has an annual semi-formal event coming up and this is perfect. Eight bucks!

    I am picking beans and zucchini from my garden. My beans aren't doing well. My husband is not a zucchini fan, but he loved zucchini parmesan crisps and snacked on the leftovers. I also made some zucchini coconut bars to take with us on an overnight trip up the river this weekend. I got the recipe from Gardenpat and it's good, with just a hint of orange extract.

    This week I placed 5 books on reserve at the library. I did this online. Hopefully they won't all arrive at once! (Otherwise, nothing else will get done).

    I successfully removed a nasty stain that had gone through the dryer.

    I washed some bedding and draped it over the patio furniture to dry.

    1. Dear Maxine,
      I am glad you had a nice visit with your son and daughter in law.
      Very nice to get a new purse! What a bargain on the dress. I love navy blue! Very good you are harvesting even if the beans arent doing well. Vicky said her garden isn't its usual either. The zucchini parmesan combination sounds really nice.
      I hope you are having a good week, this one is flying by! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Dear Annabel,
    I'm sorry to hear about your lockdowns, but glad you were still able to get what you needed from the store. That was the hardest about our lockdown last year in the U.S. My grocery order arrived with completely wrong items and items missing even though what I ordered showed on my receipt. I learned the grocery had hired out to third party shoppers. We were able to get the right things, but it took a few days to straighten it out. Then the store got smart and had the regular employees do the shopping since they were there and customers couldn't come.
    Those waterslide decals are lovely. I'm sure you will enjoy planning fun projects.
    Still working clearing out the back corner of the yard for more garden space. I had a small setback this week encountering poison ivy without realizing it. I react very badly, so it's not been a fun week.
    So very sad to read about little Teddy. May the Good Shepherd comfort you.
    Always enjoy hearing about your car for the furbabies. I have to take my one kitty for a tooth extraction this week. he somehow hurt it eating a treat and it got infected. He'll be right as rain come Wednesday evening.
    Definitely becoming more and more self-reliant here. I find I;m relating more and more to my grandparent's Great Depression attitude. I even find myself watching a Canadian series set in that era . Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura,
      If you can make more space for the garden that will be great. I have found that going up is an amazing way to create space ie fences as trellis and other supports to have things climb upwards. I am glad you are working so hard on self reliance. It has been an interesting week here. Clara on you tube is great, she gives recipes and stories of the Great Depression. Also you might enjoy the war time farm series, if I have the name right. Many tips to learn there! With love, Annabel.xxx

  9. Your week sounds as if it was wet and windy, but productive. You are always productive, dear friend.
    Our country, sadly, is trying the Communist Dictator act, also. I am adding to the food storage frequently through ordering online. I am praying diligently and listening to the Holy Spirits guidance. Worldwide we see governments suppressing their citizens freedoms. The resident administration here is allowing lawlessness and no restrictions on illegal aliens, but clamping down on the rights of legal citizens. It is a Spiritual battle, worldwide, and the sides are divided clearly.
    I was in massive flare-up, so had to do another round of Prednisone. It slowed me down some, but I continuued to dehydrate basil, thyme and tried lavender in the dehydrator. Normally, I hang lavender, but John has the kitchen upside down painting it. πŸ™‚ I have two lines on the ceiling of the kitchen, which allows for a nice space to hang herbs.
    Our weather has been very hot and dry, but we did get a good rain during the night, last night. We had thunder and lightening, so I was up for several hours with Gracee, our Golden Retriever. She is afraid of loud noises.
    Our garden is slow this year, but things are producing. John decided to cover all the beds with hoops and shade cloth to see how that worked for production, this year. The jury is still out.
    I ordered some chalk paint and want to paint a couple of items, once the flare-up has resolved. I have used chalk paint before and like it. Any paint we use has to have zero or low VOC's.
    I hope you and all the Bluebirds have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I also have been ordering online with great success! I can manage more this way. I have topped up several areas this week with online ordering.
      I saw and am following how citizens are restricted and illegal immigrants are not. No, does not make any sense. Well when things dont make sense something isn't true.
      I am so sorry you have been so unwell. I hope the Prednisone has helped.
      It will be nice when the kitchen is all painted.
      I love chalk paint! I like antique finishes. I really like painting too.
      I hope you are feeling better. One day at a time... With love, Annabel.xxx

  10. 30 eggs a day! 7 days a week! What / how you will you do with that many? Go into business? My 4 girls are laying again and we manage to use them all as we eat eggs for breakfast as well as slices and cakes. Not sure a house hold of 3 could use too many more. But chooks are so nice to have so I understand your addiction.

    1. Dear Barb, I keep my Mum and both daughters and their families in eggs. And our household of course. The rest I either help people with or barter. Usually both. Never is an egg wasted. I turn them all over in a week as I dont like giving out eggs that arent perfectly fresh. If any are damaged, chipped etc Scout has those ones for dinner. I have traded for some amazing things but the gift of being able to help out other households is something I love. And yes chickens are gorgeous and Im accumulating so many pretty ones. In Spring I hope to hatch chicks since now I have roosters! So maybe more chooks and more eggs! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. Hi Annabel (and everyone),

    Such adorable animals and beautiful vanilla labels! What a good idea. Your sewing is so pretty, too.

    It was a little bit of a wild week for us; really I just did all of the wash and the regular cook-up on the weekend with adjustments for softer foods so my husband could eat, too. Annabel, I made your baked apples in the crockpot and they were a hit! I left out the nuts for obvious reasons this time, but will add them next time. He had his tooth out, a bone graft put in, and is doing well. Insurance covered almost all of it, so that was very welcome and a big savings for us.

    I'm not sure if you ladies overseas have the Murphy's law adage, but Murphy definitely visited us at the beginning of the week! But, I have to say it all ended well. The morning of my husband's dental appointment, our air conditioning went out! Monday evening, the local repairman came out and got it working again. Super thankful for this, since we have had extreme heat advisories every day this week *except* the day the AC went out! The next day insurance + the roofers came out to go over everything together; it will probably be a few weeks before they finish negotiating and repairs can begin, but the insurance did give us the initial estimated sum up front. A weight off my mind! Definitely where we live, it is always a savings to have good insurance! My mare has been off so had a visit with the vet; he is able to save us a good chunk of money by compounding her medication. I so appreciate that! I'm worried about her, but he told me there's no doubt in his mind we'll get her feeling better. She does seem in good spirits and still quite enthusiastic about her food and treats!

    I also picked some tomatoes and zucchini, and my big sunflowers started blooming - so pretty and happy-looking. This weekend hopefully will see some seeds for fall harvest going in - oh and I have figs on my wee tree!

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      I am so glad you liked the baked apples. They are delicious. I will have them for breakfast even. Actually I have some apples...
      I had a bone graft after a tooth out. Oh boy that was awful! I was laying there thinking never again!! I am glad this is all over and done with for your husband. You are looking after him well.
      Im so glad the air con could be fixed! I hate the heat and so that is my worst nightmare.
      I hope your horse is ok. I know its not the same but cows are hard to tell what is wrong. But if he is eating well that is a good sign.
      Lovely to have sunflowers! They are in my spring plans!
      I hope the week is going well! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about your baby lamb. 😒😒

  13. I am so sorry to hear about the little lamb. :( Your picture of the other silly animals did make me smile though and I love your labels and the bag you made...so pretty! Things are starting to get a bit dicey here in the USA with Covid-19 again, but we are not having the extreme lockdowns like you all are dealing with. In my part of the country we are dealing with severe droughts, extremely high heat, crop failures and lots of wildfires. I am so thankful that I have continued to build up my pantry and that I put in a good garden this year that we have been harvesting, eating and preserving from. I have been trying to keep track of it all on my blog, but sometimes the heat gets to me and sends me into a HUGE fibromyalgia flare that limits what I can do. Be blessed!

    1. Dear Debbie,
      It sounds like you are on the west coast. I saw about the heat and fires. Also I heard about many crops... and in Brazil is SNOWED so the coffee harvest is affected. I am so happy you have been working on the pantry. It takes time to really build up but I always say take every opportunity! It really does add up!
      I am sorry about your fibromyalgia. Lucy has fibromyalgia and is just learning what works and what doesn't. A flare up is not good. I hope you feel better and can keep cool. With much love Annabel.xxx

  14. I am so sorry that parts of Australia are back under lockdown. Hoping that it won't last too long.

    God bless.

    1. Thanks Jackie, We are ok here but Australia isn't doing too well. I hope all ok where you are.xxx

  15. Hi Annabelle, Now you can come organize my house for me! I was wondering where you ordered the nice little bottles from that you are putting your vanilla in. I have never made it before but thinking of trying! Thanks. Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy, I got those bottles on Amazon. They are 100mils bottles. Homemade vanilla essence is beautiful! Its smells so good! xxx

    2. Hi Nancy, I got those bottles on Amazon. They are 100mils bottles. Homemade vanilla essence is beautiful! Its smells so good! xxx

  16. I cleaned out the pantries this week. It was a big job but one I am very glad that I did. I now know we have nine cans of condensed milk and really dont need anymore for a year or so. I was able to find the gaps and these have been filled. I started this job because the old free standing cabinet, that Bluey found at the dump and renovated, needed a few repairs. To get to where the repairs needed to happen the cabinet had to be moved. To be moved it needed to be empty.
    Katie's FIL got his new fishing boat but the cover didnt fit as well as he wanted. I went over and was able to have a look. I have been getting the cover changed up and it should work better now. So far I have been paid with two bags of whiting fillets. I used my Irene, my 100 yr old Treadle machine to do the stitching. She handles the thicker fabric so much better than my Janome domestic.
    Katie has been getting me to cut out the feet and the hand coverings of Spencer's grow suits. This little man has very large hands and feet and they end up all scrunched up in the suits. Granny to the rescue with feet and hand covers cut off and replaced with nice stretchy ribbing.
    Bluey went off the the tip shop and found the steel and the mesh he needed to finally start welding up the top for my potting table. He made the frame some time ago but what he needed for the top just wasnt there to be found. Patience is a virtue, and my potting table will be ready just in time for getting all my seeds potted up for the Spring and Summer garden.
    I have been going through my sewing and embroidery files on my hard drive and getting them organised and backed up. This was another eye opener, as I found that I have an enormous amount of patterns and really need to start using them. So use them I am. I have drafted off bib and brace overalls to fit all three of the Grandies. I hope to get these cut out and started in the next couple of days.
    We have halved our chook run area. The half the girls are now locked out of, has been scratched over, watered and cow pea seeds have been added. Once these have gotten to the flowering stage the girls will have this area as their run and the same will happen to the other half. I am hoping to give the girls more green pick and lower the feed bill a little. We shall see.
    The garden is providing us with tomatoes and greens everyday. We have plenty of passionfruit sitting on the bench with the last of the lemons and limes. Our neighbours have plenty of lemons left on their trees so if needed I will duck over and get some from them.
    Life is beautiful sunshiney good!

    1. Dear Jane,
      Good job on so much work on the pantry. I know its a big job. My pantry is next after I finish the craft room.
      It was a really industrial sewing job to work on that boat cover! Great trading. The old machines were built so well. You can turn your hand to anything!
      If Spencer has large feet and hands I would just expect him to grow big! Lucky Katie has you to do alterations as needed. What a help you are to her.
      The chook run set up sounds good. The more green they can eat the better. It does keep costs down. I have seen some ingenious chook runs that are really like a wire tunnel and people move them down between the rows of veggies, then next day direct it somewhere else. Brilliant!
      Your garden is producing so much! It is too cold here at the moment but we will kick in once spring is here. Starting to plan now!
      Hope the week is going well. With love Annabel.xxx

  17. Hi Annabel, great post as always! In the comment section of your last post you mentioned other blogs that you follow, would you care to share?

    1. Hi, Depending what device you are on... but on the top left of the blog I have a link to many of the blogs I follow. I need to add some more so I will try to add them over the next few weeks.xxx

  18. Murphy's Law here. My daughter's AC went out Friday evening late and we got a text after we were in bed. She and little boy came to spend the night. Fortunately we were able to get a repair man out but boy oh boy weekend repair prices....As another mentioned, we were heading into some truly hot weather here with lots of humidity and daughter starting a new work at home job...She HAD to have AC! Later in the week, I was brushing my teeth one night before bed when the faucet slowed to a trickle and stopped. Never a good sign when you're on a well! That too turned out to be a minor repair one handled by husband and son. We'd already had a big hard financial thing hit us and that repair bill shot us way over our budget. Sigh.
    On the better side, I have a fully stocked pantry and freezer and we can manage. I'm going to try shopping only the BEST sales this coming month and possibly stocking up on flour. I'm also going to try and have an eagle eye for bargains we might can use that aren't advertised.
    Daughter's new job means nursery needed for baby boy but first pay is mid August. It's looking as though I'll be nursery until October or so. Not my ideal. It's very hard to work around an 18mo and his messes and half the house blocked off to keep him out of things but the benefit is seeing his lovely little personality and accomplishments and how hard HE is trying to stay out of places we've said NO to. He really is pretty amazing and a joy to us both.
    High heat days have meant being on top of pulling shades and curtains on sunny side of house. We'd originally shut doors to parts of house where we didn't want little boy to go but that proved to work the AC far too hard. We now lay a dining chair across the main doorways and that allows us to block off both ends of the house but air circulates. The AC continued to work hard but it also FELT cooler in the house because the flow was better.
    Lots of plans for some very frugal months ahead, but I know that I can do this!

    1. Dear Terri, Well I might be a bit like your daughter and evacuate to air conditioning if I could! I hate the heat. And hate humidity!
      So sorry you had a double financial hit. I know you will be ingenious to work your way back from these.
      Probably you will get into a routine with your little Grandson and it is big blessing you can do this for your daughter and for him.
      I like your inventive baby gate! I hope this week throws no new bills at you! With love Annabel.xxx

  19. Dear Annabel, it is all a bit scary and I have days where I feel a bit panic-y, mostly when I begin to think about it all or watch the news. It seems to trigger me! Well we aren't in lockdown yet, but our state is in trouble again...I am extremely glad for the garden and sunshine. I've fertilised the garden with chicken manure and raked the leaves, planted a couple of cuttings and this has made me feel better already. The oven is warming, ready to put in the roast for a Sunday. I have fond memories of the roast on a Sunday...hopefully we get two dinners from it and some lunch meat. I think our next investment needs to be the garden. We badly need more beds. I went to a farmer's market and it inspired me...I thought I can grow this, I can grow that...bunches of parsley were $3! It all really adds up. Nothing beats your parsley, Annabel. Well done for having a big clean up of the craft room, I love nothing more than a space being sorted out and cleaned up. It often provides inspiration too. I love that you are getting so many eggs....it is the best gift! Sending love. Love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily,
      Im so glad your outdoor work made you feel better. That works for me too.
      My Nana always did a Sunday roast! The whole family gathered for it! I loved it.
      This Spring I am going to plant even more parsley! Its something that grows well here and it is great to be able to give away bunches, barter and then it is good for the goats, chooks... so I will just plant every spare inch with it
      Lily lots of things make great big planters and pots. But I agree... plant plant plant! With love Annabel.xxx

  20. Annabel I love the lovely bags you made with the velvet and rose prints and that you have been sorting your craft room out while the rain has been about :) . You have made so much progress in the orchard and I hope the netting helps keep the birds out so you can get lots of lovely fruit and I love the vanilla extract bottle labels.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $67.31 in savings last week :).

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked 2 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machine saving $6.98 over buying them locally.
    - Made all meals from scratch.
    - Blanched and froze silverbeet picked from the gardens to make 11 meal sized portions for the freezer and did the same with 5 kg of carrots we purchased from the supermarket. The vegetable freezer is looking a lot fuller and nice to have a good supply of fresh veggies on hand for meal ingredients.

    Purchases -
    - From IGA we purchased 6kg of sausages on special for $5.33 kg, 2.04 kg of chicken drumsticks on markdown for $2.33 kg and a 500g of unsalted roasted cashews on special for $4 saving in total $ 15.33 on usual prices.

    In the gardens -
    - We harvested 10 bunches of silverbeet from the vegetable gardens saving $45 over buying them locally in the supermarkets.
    - Topped up 2 more above ground garden beds with more soil and composted grass clippings.
    - Both of us spent time around the property digging/pulling up large marshmallow weeds and other weeds and putting them in the wheelie bin. The yard is looking much more tidy now :).

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week :) .

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      Nothing smells as good as bread baking. Your loaves are saving you such a lot.
      Great harvests of Silverbeet and Carrots!
      Very good deals from IGA. I have a chance to check out a couple of supermarkets out of my usual area this week so I am hoping I might find some deals too.
      Al your produce and gardening were wonderful. Great to get the raised beds topped up. I found as mine broke down and composted I had to keep topping up too. Hope you have a great new week. With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Hello from the Upper North East of the US!

      I read of your lockdown news, and wanted to hear it, from "right on the ground" as it were. Happily a Dear Reader of mine, gave me your blog link.

      It is true! -sigh-

      Yes, it is scary!


      Keep doing as you are doing. Maintaining a Deep Pantry, and doing projects, to try to take your mind off of the horrors. For us to worry ourselves into bad health, is not going to help anyone or anything.

      Know the facts, and then, live the most peaceful life, we can.

      Gentle hugs,

  21. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds

    It is funny how states differ. You had storms and hail we had heat as in 31 was our hottest day with no rain in sight and I had to turn on the air con for a while to cool things down.

    You always seem to get so much done in a week and make the most of the days. I am home now as I had a call from school that DD11 was ill and I was hesitant to go into sewing today but I went. Will try to get some done once she is resting.

    Things in our state are rapidly changing and whilst we are far away from the lockdown areas it could all change in the blink of an eye. I have heard that someone was in regional QLD who was infected so them being placed on alert then raises our level as the highway between them and us in constantly busy and only a few hours drive. I have not even been into supermarkets to see what state they are in, I could only imagine.

    Your photos of the animal antics are just beautiful and never cease to amaze me at what they will get up to next. The vanilla essence labels are just gorgeous. Thank you for all your wonderful inspiration. I know over the years that I would not be where I am today if I had not come across you all those years ago and for this I am so grateful.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week and stay safe wherever you are

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

  22. Everything you share is so lovely and helpful ♥️ thank you for also sharing our Etsy shop link! ♥️


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