Feather your Nest Friday, 27th August, 2021.

 You will be tired of hearing from me! What a week!  I can't express or form sentences in reaction to some of the news of the last twenty four hours.   Keep preparing,  keep the home fires burning and keep making hay while the sun shines.

Some of the ways I feathered my nest this week included:

I got busy and soaked some dried fruit and made some fruit cakes.  These keep at least a year so are really good to have on hand.   One or two will be Christmas presents. 

I might make another lot next week.  The recipe is here.

The weather was mostly beautiful.  Everywhere is green and lovely.  With the tractor we can do so much!   I now have four big heaps of good sheep manure/dirt in place for my pumpkin patches.

I am starting some pumpkin seeds in pots ready to plant out.  I made a bit of a dish in the top so I can fill that with water as the pumpkins grow.  I am very excited to have the good soil and space to grow lots this year! 

The chickens are mostly free ranging during the day.  There is so much grass to eat they are busy, busy and I am getting a lot of eggs!  

I have some pretty good looking roosters too!   

I weeded my carrot patch and planted two rows of Parsley seed that I saved last year.   

I made bed egg custards. 

I am including some things that were just lovely.    We go for drives.  We were headed back to the house and the most amazing rainbow appeared.  It was the biggest one I've ever seen.

It is hard to capture as it was brighter than the photo shows but it was so high into the sky.  

Tonight we had a visitor.  He hopped down the track,  stayed a while under our trees, then hopped back down the track.

I added some protection to my newly planted fruit trees.

All my new trees have blossoms and are looking good. 

Stephanie got me on to buying seam binding by the roll and hand dyeing it.   This was this weeks effort.

These all went into my gift cupboard.

How were you able to build up your home and get ahead this week?   I am consciously adding comfort and beauty where I can.   The weather is warming and I am getting the garden weeded ready to plant my Spring veggies.  I have a lot of lists going!   

Have a beautiful weekend.xxx


  1. Hello Annabel, I agree it was not pleasant at all to hear what is happening in the world today. Such sadness.
    We have decided to add another fresh water tank to our suburban home. I only drink rainwater and where we live quite near the sea our air is fresh with no pollution. I have been dehydrating herbs this week and we picked our first broccoli today. Our veggies are thriving now in our veggie net covered garden. I do some stitching each night and I’m enjoying listening “Anne of Green Gables “ on YouTube. Such a lovely innocent story. It’s free to listen to. I was quite a young girl when I first read Anne. Many years ago now. I will listen to Heidi next. We are still in lockdown till the middle of next month, however I a finding plenty to do and still don’t seem to have enough hours in my day.
    Have a blessed week and stay safe,

    1. How lush and green everything looks - what a gift. Your soil mix for pumpkin planting is enviable ;). The tractor does in one haul what took you many trips. Your roosters ARE beautiful. And that rainbow - thank You, LORD. I think He's reminding us that He is in control in spite of all the chaos we see around.
      Your seam bindings and trims are gorgeous! What vibrant (and soft) pinks - just lovely.
      Your Christmas cakes look beautiful and delicious. Custard sounds really good about now; clever you, baking them in pretty china cups.
      Is that a wallaby? So precious.
      xxMary where it was 97* yesterday and 93* right now xx

    2. Dear Gail, A rainwater tank is always a good addition. Next week we are replacing a crumbling cement tank with a brand new tank. We are half an hour from the sea and no city in between so things are unpolluted here too and I really appreciate it. I never did really until we did an OS trip years ago. When we arrived home the air!!! Oh my goodness the fresh air!! Suddenly I appreciated it!
      I love Anne of Green Gables. What a joy! You are using your time so well! With love Annabel.xxx

      Dear Mary, Yes that is a Wallaby! All alone but also yesterday we saw Kangaroos but more toward the back of the property.
      You have it pretty warm! Have a lovely weekend, love, Annabel.xxsx

  2. Annabel, I so happy to see another post. My goodness you work hard. My comment on day 9 should have gone here. Your rainbow photo is amazing and our lavender/blue rooster is really handsome. I want to share a little chicken joke. What do you call a chook staring at a pile of lettuce? A chicken sees a salad :) I discovered a hidden nest of eggs in my little shed where I keep the chook wheat. Tomorrow I will 'set' them with a clucky hen in a nice little pen I have prepared. Spring and chickens = happiness. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, Haha that is a good one. Well it has been busy but good! I really hope the eggs hatch! You do pretty well with the chickens so I reckon you might have chicks in three week! Let me know if they hatch! I am waiting now for any hen to go broody and do the same. These beautiful roosters were all swaps I did. I couldn't believe how nice they were! I will be excited to see what the chicks will be like! Have a good weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. In Texas...I night look up and see a deer, jack rabbit or armodillo. Just can't fathom looking out to see a Roo! Thank you for your posts. I will be back in a few days to read over comments. Such wisdom. God bless and keep you strong.

    1. Dear Stacy, I cant imagine looking out to see an Armadillo! And Vicky had a skunk near her back door and to me Skunks are out of cartoons! Its amazing!
      Have a lovely weekend, with love Annabel,.xxx

  4. Hi Annabel (and everyone),

    Beautiful pictures! I love seeing the beautiful land and your hand-dyed seam binding is gorgeous. I've done the same with threads for embroidery, but never thought to package some for gifts! Those are the prettiest labels.

    This week I have been doing my best to follow your suggestions - and thank you so much for doing this daily series, it is helpful and encouraging. We purchased some extra emergency light sources, evaluated our supply of batteries and personal care items, and added spices, muffin tin liners, and tea to the pantry. We both love having a cup of tea and treat and chat together in the evening - maybe it is not necessary for survival, but the little things that bring us happiness are important! Evening tea dates and weekend movie dates at home are new traditions that we both really enjoy. My big purchase was a good quality wool coat for winter - I need one, it is a lovely color (a berry plum), and was on sale and right there to be purchased (I saved $75!).

    Saturday was my weekly big cooking session - it helps a lot with meals during the work week. The garden is about done producing for summer, but I still have new sunflowers and zinnias coming up and blooming! My husband did all the lawn work and a small home repair. Really I need to get going on holiday gifts, but have just been doing a little knitting on some socks and putting a few stitches in a cross-stitch piece here and there.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      I am always on the look out for gifts I can post (small and light) and gifts for crafts and sewing. These I thought fitted both categories. I have a lot of white laces and they are so much nicer with some colour too.
      I totally agree about making sure we have nice things... I never want to be without my cup of tea. I keep a lot of tea!
      I am glad you are enjoying the challenge and finding it helpful. You are going well!
      The coat I consider an investment and good buy!
      Yes we are nearly into September... then Christmas seems to come quickly I always think!
      Your weekend cooking is wonderful. What a benefit all week. Enjoy your weekend too! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Dear Annabel,

    I was thinking of starting my Christmas cakes next week, what a good idea to make extra's for gifting and for storing. You are a wealth of information and encouragement.

    I'm giving a call out for prayer, I just watched this plea from a Christian in Afghanistan, it's heartbreaking.......they need our prayers right now Annabel, they are our brothers and sisters.......I hope you don't mind me putting this link in your comments.

    God bless, and the Lord be with us all through this dark time.

    1. Dear Country Mouse, I am praying and no I dont mind the link at all. It is very distressing and unnecessary what has happened. It is horrific.
      It is a good time to make the cakes as I think they taste much better after maturing for a while. I am thinking to do another batch myself. With much love Annabel.xxx

  6. Hi Annabel,
    I'm enjoying the preparedness posts each day. The daily news is sad and I agree with Gail that we need to find ways to 'escape" . I loved the Anne books as a child and enjoy the movies and Road to Avonlea as an adult. They take you to a pleasant place. I also feel that even though I rarely leave the house I run out of hours each day to do all I wish to do. Time to plant out the fall veggies. I can't believe how fast the summer has flown. Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura,
      I think our own home nest has to be our private escape for sure. I loved the Anne books and TV series. I hope to introduce my Grand daughters to them. I am always busy at home too, there is always lots to work on and if there is any spare time then I love to get to sew or onto some crafts. Being content at home is a huge blessing. Many thanks, with love Annabel.xxx

  7. Hi Annabel and all the ladies in the bluebird nation, I had a question have you heard from Laine? She has been on my mind and was wondering. We have been canning snd making jams like crazy! Gleaned fruit from Neighbors trees and will be picking green beans at my aunts house then canning those this weekend. Also we have set up our arts and crafts in mom's garage for a bazaar this Saturday to sell some of wares so we have room to make more lol. I love the lace ...would love to learn how to do that and are the sleeves they are wrapped in a free printable? If you could share that would be amazing ...you are always an inspiration. ..thank you for all you do Annabel ♡love Gaila

    1. Dear Gaila,
      Yes I have heard from Laine... she has had covid and was very sick. Lucy had it mildly, Abbie had it and two of Laine's DIL's all with babies! I was very upset and worried about Laine. I bet this is why she was on your mind. Now Art has it. Keep praying. Laine says it is very slow recovery as you are so weak.
      Well dont on gleaning the fruit! That is my idea of a fantastic timeThe garage bazaar sounds fantastic! I hope you did very well! I would love to be there!
      Ok... the lace to dye is a cotton lace. Nylons dont take the dye. In my kitchen I make up bowls of hot water and tea or coffee for parchment colours, a tiny bit of fabric dye for colours. If you want them for sewing trims etc they need to be colourfast so you need salt to set the dye and rinse it until the water runs clear. Mine are mostly for trims on cards etc so I dont worry too much about them being colour fast. I dip a tiny bit of lace into the water to see if I like the colour and adjust from there. It is very forgiving and fun. Any pretty card makes a nice band to put around the end result. There are lots of free printable images online but also save cards you are given and anything with pretty images. I think some of my laces were from op shops and a bit boring but with dye they are so pretty! I hope this helps. With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you for sharing the pictures of the rainbow. Beautiful. I love hearing how things are progressing on the farm and all that you're doing. We have been busy at home here harvesting and preserving our garden. This week we harvested the cantaloupes that were container friendly. They're called Minnasota Minis and are just large enough for two people. I have saved the seed and will be able to use them for gifts and trading. We've eaten some and cut some up and frozen them for fruit salads this winter. We also froze 2 quarts of green beans, 4 quarts of chard, dehydrated rosemary, oregano and basil from the herb garden. Zucchini got shredded and portioned out for later use in breads, muffins and fritters and frozen. A dozen jars of strawberry jam got made. Baked a dozen and a half English muffins for my husband, baked 2 plain zucchini breads with raisens and 3 chocolate zucchini breads, and some gluten free shortbread made with coconut flour,coconut oil and maple syrup. I placed an order with Costco this week only to find that some of the items are now being rationed to one per customer order. Neighbors have told me that herbs and spices at their grocery store have been increasingly hard to get. I'm grateful for my herb garden and will have enough to share of what I have. I got some new cutting dies for card making. 2 meat loaves and 4 portions of chicken got added to the ready made meals, along with homemade cranberry sauce.

    We are concentrating on things that bring us peace and happiness to our lives. Thank you for all that you do, Annabel. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Your garden has been wonderful! So much added to your pantry but so much to enjoy fresh too. It sounds like if your herbs so we'll dried or fresh herbs will also be great gifts!
      I am so impressed you make English Muffins. Yum! I think the garden and all this picking and processing are a joy and good for us! I know time outside in the fresh air alone makes me feel better. I hope your week is going well I am slowly catching up because of daily postings Im a bit behind! With much love Annabelxxx

  9. Read Homejoys Blog Says Margie In Miami
    She talks about nil weeds by mulching and not working the ground Still works but saves time

    1. Thank you! Anything that cuts down on work is a good thing! xxx

  10. I just read your previous post and thought you and other bluebirds may be interested to watch 'Wartime Kitchen and Garden', this series was produced by the BBC and shows how the British survived shortages and rationing y digging for victory and preserving.


    God Bless,

  11. Annabel your fruit cakes look divine and I am sure anyone would be happy with those for lovely gifts :). Your chickens and roosters all look so happy and healthy foraging around. The soil with sheep manure will be so good for growing vegetables in. What a beautiful huge rainbow and binding you have dyed.

    Like yourself we seem to be buying the last of everything as well being the last carpet shampooer and also 5 litre bottle of reasonably priced commercial carpet shampoo. Stocks on lots of items are limited and not only in some food items I have noticed.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $2719.42 in savings last week :).

    In the kitchen -
    - We made 3 loaves of wholemeal white bread saving $10.47 over buying them locally.
    - Made all meals from scratch.

    Purchases -
    - From the Men's Shed we purchased a near new soil leveler for $20 saving $24.95 on buying it new.
    - Also from the men's shed we purchased a lovely antique 8 - 10 seater solid oak 2.4 m L x 1 metre W dining table for $60. I have looked online and pinned the age of it down to the 1800's or similar to the Windsor or Hampton style tables. The top does need restoration and varnishing but the rest is in perfect condition and we know we can do this restoration with little cost. Looking up information on this table online we saved $2440 or more going on the prices I a saw on similar tables.
    - We decided with DH's tax cheque to purchase 2 x 3 and 2 x 2 sliding door wardrobes from Fantastic furniture and have now assembled them and put our clothing in them. They look so nice and everything is far more organised and neat than using clothes hanging racks.
    - From Godfrey's we purchased a carpet shampooer which was the last in stock demo model and saved $50.

    In the home -
    - Before we installed our wardrobes we deep cleaned the bedroom by damp dusting all the skirting boards, window sills, furniture and underneath and vacuuming the room. We did also give everything a good clean afterwards too. It smells so much fresher in the bedroom now.
    - We shampooed 2 rugs and the rest of the carpet in the home with our new carpet shampooer saving us $189 over paying a carpet cleaner to do it for us and that was even including the cost of the 5 litre bottle of carpet shampoo we purchased.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      I am just amazed about your solid dining table! That is just fantastic. What a deal. I see tables also that are solid timber for thousands!
      You will love having the wardrobes. They look so neat and tidy. Good investment.
      You did well on the carpet shampooer too. It is very satisfying cleaning carpet and mats. Also very good to do the car. I always think its thrilling to see how dirty the water is when it is emptied!
      Lots of reports this week on limits on items and I am really wondering how things will be closer to Christmas. I am stashing quite a few Christmas baking goods. I added butter to the freezer. Your bread savings are really adding up. Homemade bread is much nicer too.
      You really had an amazing week! With much love Annabel.xxx

  12. I agree...this has been a hard week. It's been a particularly hard one if you are an American. The rainbow picture reminds me that there are better times ahead.

    I want to thank you yet again for your preparedness series. It has really got me thinking (and in some cases has taken my mind off of world events). In most cases, I'm happy with what I'm already doing, or realize that due to age and living on a small city lot (with homeowner association restrictions) I can't do more. But, as I said, you got me thinking! And I am filling in a few holes.

    In the past week, I've made and frozen 5 ready meals with plans to cook double again tonight. I bought a Blackout Buddy, which one of your commenters mentioned and I'd never heard of. I stocked up on batteries, bought a new battery tester and tested the batteries I found lying around the house. Later I realized I need to buy 9 volt batteries for the smoke detectors. They are on my list. (I was able to buy the AA and AAA batts at Office Max with a 100% Rewards rebate and used the rebate to buy printer ink, which I needed).

    The biggie is that I did a little research online and discovered tri-fuel generators. We've never bought a generator because we don't truly understand how to use one and thankfully wouldn't need it often. Also, gasoline and propane fuels would not work for us. But the "tri" is natural gas, which should work. I was passing through Costco yesterday and bumped into tri-fuel generators on sale for $800 through tomorrow. Not only is the price right, but they are in stock! The kilowattage is a little less than what we wanted, but a friend who uses one the same size in his RV is sure it will be sufficient to run our freezer, the fan on our furnace and--maybe--the refrigerator (on an extension cord) . We're buying it today and he's coming next week to try it out so we can decide whether it will work, or to return it.

    My heart goes out to the people in Louisiana who are probably going to get hit by Ida, which is a category 4 hurricane. (Katrina was a 3). If you have readers in that area, I hope they have been taking your advice this week! It could save their lives, or at least make life more tolerable in the next few weeks. Stay safe, friends!

    1. Dear Maxine,
      I have been watching and seeing poor Louisiana got hit hard. The news overall has been very concerning.
      Thank you for your kind words on my series. It is doing me good too as I go along. Probably we need a regular review ad that is a good thing. I feel better when there is something constructive I can do.
      Ohh now I really like the sound of tri fuel generators! I think that is an excellent investment!! I hope it will be successful for your needs. We found having a generator an absolute life saver. Also there was a period of a year where no amount of money would buy a generator as they sold out for so long after a state wide blackout. A bird in the hand! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. It was a week of adding to my pantry this week. I did my once a month shop at the discount grocer, not nearly as a great a place to shop as Lana has near her but as close as I can get! I found, quite by accident, a corner of racks with lots of marked down produce. So I bought lots for 50c and $1 and have managed to process or use all but the tomatoes at this point.
    Today while I was out, I found tomato products and beans on a clearance shelf at Target. I stocked up on those, too.
    I was thrilled to find a Christmas gift for my daughter. She was with me, so she has it and is thrilled over it, lol. I counted up and have ten more gifts to buy over the next 4 months. I can do this!
    We had a hard summer but have had good news two days in a row now and no one is complaining over that, lol.
    Thank you for your faithful diligence in teaching and sharing.

    1. Dear Terri,
      Thank you I really appreciate your kind words. I feel honoured to be called diligent as that is one of my favourite words!
      Well done on the Christmas gift. It is good to know you got something just right.
      I am glad you had double good news! I hope this week has been good also! With love, Annabel.xxx

  14. No, Annabel, we will never ever tire of hearing from you! It's always a treat and I learn something from every post! I had a pretty good week, too. We are at the point now where we mostly replenish our grocery stocks when things go on sale. This week I found great buys on hand soaps and sanitizers and apples. Some of the apples I am dehydrating, a few we eat as a snack and the rest I'm baking overnight in the crockpot (cored and the centers filled with butter and red hot candies - great for breakfast). I bought another case of quart canning jars and managed to add two new raised beds (actually just large tubs). I saved more pepper and tomato seeds and did a seed inventory, listing the few seeds I want to replenish. Maybe the best thing for us involves our fish pond. A few years ago our county decided to pave the road that runs in front of our property. Unfortunately that cut off a big part of the rainwater that flows in to our pond and keeps it full. Greg talked to the county commissioner and he agreed to install a large culvert to remedy the situation. I am ecstatic and can't wait to re-stock our pond with catfish (my favorite)! Finally some of our tax dollars will be put to good use :-). I have enjoyed watching some of those BBC wartime videos. Thanks for reminding. Blessings to you, Annabel, and all our Bluebirds.

    1. Dear Pam,
      Thank you. Just as well as I am posting constantly at the moment!
      I also stock up by going for the best deals. Well done on getting hand soaps and sanitisers. Also apples... they are so good for so many things.
      Great solution on your pond! Having fish in there would be wonderful. The BBC series I watched was really good. I need to get back online and find some more. With love, Annabel.xxx

  15. Hi Annabel

    What a week it has been in the news. I have gone a day here and there trying to avoid watching it as it is depressing to say the least.

    This week DD11 has gone away to camp. They flew out yesterday and arrive home on Thursday afternoon. DP has gone to work so the house will be fairly quiet. Just the cat, the fish and I at home. The teachers have been wonderful in organising this trip as the original trip had to be cancelled due to on going Covid. There have been updates on the Facebook posts for parents as this group of children have missed every camp that they were supposed to go on, so really their first time away. Usually they do a short 2 day one in Year 4 (close by) another one in Year 5 a few hours away (Covid stopped this one) and then this one in Year 6. So far things seem to be going well.

    We went to have a look around the high school she will be attending next year and that was an eye opener for her. DD11 is excited but nervous at the same time.

    Whilst DD is away I am hoping to get into a bit of sewing and cleaning. Today will be a little slower as I have a sore arm after my injection yesterday. but I have most meals prepared and ready to just take out the freezer and some just to add vegetables too.

    Love the pretty pink seam binding, this came up really well with the dyeing.

    Rainbows are always so lovely to see.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      I hope DD enjoyed her camp. You did have it quiet at home!
      Going to high school is a big step! I can understand being exited plus nervous. I cant even believe your DD is almost in hight school!
      Many thanks Aly, with love Annabel.xxx


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