Feather your Nest Friday, 24th September, 2021.

 It is so nice to be looking over the week.  It was kind of a whirl wind.  But it was full of opportunities! 

One of them was I got to go to two op shops.  (Thrift stores.) 

I found two pure silk scarves and a crystal vase for $10.  I love crystal.   I had some flowers that I had no vase for.  When I got home I shoved the flowers into the vase and it was just perfect!! 

I also got three more nice big tins (for fruit cakes) and a flannelette sheet with trucks on it which I am going to make into hankies for the boys. 

We had someone stay in the cabin.   This resulted in another good trade.   A big box of beautiful veggies and also a leg of venison.

I am still working my way through the produce.  We had the zucchinis tonight as zoodles and in pasta sauce.

I used up four bananas in a cake.

We continued to have bonfires.    You can see one is set out behind the cows and how green it is now.

The tractor is pretty big.  So you can see the size of this fire ready to go.

Andy has been working on the tractor every day and this is so good for the coming fire season.

I am collecting at least 20 eggs a day.  This has been wonderful and I can share eggs around.   

I cut my hair and gave myself a conditioning treatment. 

In the garden....  so much is happening!   I am weeding each day.  I got a sore leg from digging so I changed legs.    This all feeds the mini goats.

A while back we pruned the big old fruit trees and put frames up so we can net them once they set fruit.   One of the pear trees is absolutely covered in blossoms.   There seem to be hundreds of thousands of them.

The other pear tree is a different kind and is just starting to blossom as is the apple tree.

My sunflowers are up! 

Some of the pumpkin seeds are up too! 

Last week I bought some tiny tomatoes in punnets.  Some I planted into the garden and a few I potted to grow up a bit as a gift for a friend to help them get their garden going.

So that is my week.   

In the last few days I have seen a lot more on shortages and some are really concerning.   Be very watchful.   We only have three more days to go in the preparedness series.  I will be working on those posts over the weekend.

How did you build up your home this week?   I hope you had lots of opportunities to add to your pantry! xxx


  1. This week, our quilting business quilted up 5 client quilts- https://pin.it/2HcWzaR, https://pin.it/2363cXm, https://pin.it/6GuDvpN, https://pin.it/6R3SjAM. That is nice to have that money coming in. My daughter is my business partner and she has started coming down to do some of the quilting so she did the two identical Halloween wall hangings. This gives her extra income and frees me up to work on other things here at home while also allowing our business volume to expand as much as it will! A new client is dropping off 3 quilts this morning and another new clients quilt is out for delivery to our house today coming from the West Coast. So, at least 4 more quilts (which are all much larger) coming in for quilting next week! What a blessing that has been to both our households!!
    With some boneless pork I got on sale for $1.49/pound, I tried a new, baked pork chop recipe that only needs balsamic vinegar, brown sugar marinade on it. Really tasty and I baked 4 chops, so we had one dinner with 2 of them and the other 3 are for another day. In the crockpot, I cooked up 8 more boneless chops with a recipe that only added butter and Dry Ranch dressing mix (I used my homemade Ranch mix ) and put those up for 4 additional meals!
    I had pulled out all of my old cucumber vines but one tiny scraggly one and was shocked to see a full size cucumber hanging on it yesterday! 😳 We continue to harvest tomatoes, peppers, kale, silverbeet, cabbage and chives. Next week, I will harvest our tomatillos and can salsa verde for the pantry! We love it when we cook Mexican food!
    I bought a 30 pound box of bananas for $5 and made 2 loaves of butterscotch banana bread and a huge batch of banana coconut delight cookies (biscuits) so far. Today, in between things, I’ll bake up some more banana muffins and the rest will be added to my freezer.
    I plan to paint the inside of the last of our wooden fences. I already have the paint and it’s just 35 foot x 6 foot to finish. Then that summer project will be done!
    Dave finished our patio paving project. Over 2000 paver bricks (we got free for the loading and hauling them home!), 2000 pounds of sand (cost $160) and our time and labor and this is how it looks now: https://pin.it/5A3jon6 and https://pin.it/7q8KtsX. Just as this was completed we saw an advert on FBMarketplace for 600 brand new brick pavers for $120. We both grinned and arranged for them to be delivered yesterday. We unloaded them and are a bit stiff today, but once we get busy, the aches and pains will subside! https://pin.it/6pdi7MV. People think we’re crazy but when we see a great deal, on something we can use, we often get it. The savings are phenomenal! We looked online at the same bricks we just bought 600 for $120. Currently, Home Depot only has them available in pallets of 255 bricks for $699!! We hadn’t realized the price and availability had changed so drastically!! These are things we look at as permanent improvements that are one-offs! So, maybe we are crazy, but maybe…..🤔🤔🤔

    Hope everyone else has had a great week! Annabel, I love your farm and all that you are doing/have done to make it work so well for you and your family!! ❤️❤️

    1. Dear Pat, This is such a great business with your daughter. Extra income streams are such a good think. This must help her a lot also. I have followed every quilt I think. And this is not to mention your store also!
      The pork sounds really good and that price is incredible! Also what a deal on the bananas!
      Your yard is looking so good. Dave had done a very professional job. I can understand some aches and pains from all that unloading it is heavy work! Who needs a gym!?
      A very productive week and as you are harvesting and adding to the freezer and pantry it is very abundant! With much love Annabel.xxx

  2. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Beautiful vase and flowers, Annabel! It is so nice to see your garden going; our growing season is over and I love seeing what yours is up to. You had a great week!

    Cooking and Pantry: My husband's birthday was last weekend, so I made a beef rib roast (his choice), veggies, potatoes, egg bread, and a mint chocolate birthday cake. This made him so happy and gave us lots of extra dinners, too. All the ingredients came out of our freezer or pantry. I did a Saturday baking day with sandwich bread, waffles, corn muffins, and hamburger buns to get ahead. Our food pantry is pretty well stocked. Next week I'm planning to pick up some fresh foods, maple syrup, and hopefully some seafood for the freezer since supplies have been coming in.

    Home: Our new roof was put on at last and paid for! They did an amazing job and cleaned up everything afterwards, too. So happy with this local company. In a few weeks they will come out to fix the gutter and window that were damaged in the storm, too (just the window frame, the glass itself is fine). My husband saved us a big repair bill by ordering a refrigerator part and replacing it. It looked terribly fiddly to get to the problem area, but he said it wasn't difficult, just had to take everything out and apart. A good time to wash all of that stuff and organize the fridge! It is working great now. I did tons of laundry, washed all the bedding, and put on warmer blankets for fall. It is like a refresh for our bedroom and the pretty colors make me smile. We also cleaned up the backyard (trimmed up spent plants and shrubs that were growing a little too enthusiastically, got all of the dried seed pods I was saving together) - it did not look bad before, but is very nice and neat now.

    Preparedness and Health Stuff: We both got our flu shots for free at work this week. I've been following your preparedness series, which is so wonderful, and added some clothing items (sturdy work pants for my husband and some other needed things) today - coupled with a sale and a coupon, so I am well pleased! We also purchased more HVAC filters for the home since paper is predicted to be a problem later, motor oil, washer fluid, and got meds refills early. Our local hospital has some inpatient capacity now, but the regional center where we work and the one an hour north do not. Our work is still able to do outpatient procedures for now because there is a separate surgery center.

    Crafting: One of my husband's birthday gifts was homemade fudge grahams - I put heart sprinkles and rainbow sprinkles on them, and they got a great reception! Soapmaking is still on my gift-y to-do list! I have been knitting a little and slowly working on a couple of big cross stitch pieces. I'd really like to do some small stitched ornaments for gifts, too, so should get going on those. (For fellow stitchers - Pinker n Punkin Quilting has a whole blog full of cute, free country/farm themed patterns!)

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

    1. Dear Kathy, Your husbands birthday meal sounds amazing! You could sell tickets! I do love that with the effort of a big meal you get really good left overs!
      It is fantastic to have the new roof and also I like it was a local company and they cleaned up etc. This is really good. Good job to your husband on the replacement part for the fridge!
      You made good investments. Thanks for telling me you are following the series.
      It is a good time for soap making to cure before Christmas! Your husband sounds like he had such a good birthday and also that he really loved all you did! What a nice week! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. What a bounty of produce and eggs for your family! It is the small things that make me feel rich!

    Yesterday when we were shopping in Aldi we commented to our cashier about how few customers were in the store and she said it was a good thing because they do not have enough employees to handle more. There were many bare places on the shelves but they do not have enough help to restock. So many things would right themselves if people would just return to work!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I see this problem is a big one in the UK and we have it too, maybe to a lesser extent. I saw a lot of people post online about shops that have been shut with a sign on the door saying sorry no staff or sorry no pharmacist and so on. The wheels are falling off! Consumer demand will increase soon for Thanksgiving and Christmas too... ` it could get interesting.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. I have seen the same issue--stores closing early because of a lack of employees! How crazy is that? The wages offered are very good, more than I ever made in retail (nearly doubled) and more than my husband ever made in the trucking industry--yet, no one seems to want to work! For nearly a year now I have seen the same man sitting by the curb as I exit a Walmart store, holding up a sign for handouts. For the last few months, there has been a very able-bodied man sitting in the same location, holding a sign that reads, "Single Father, anything will help." What??? There are 4 stores right within walking distance of this man that have posted signs saying they need help. I've been tempted to grab employment applications from those store and hand them to the 'single father' as I exit the parking lot.

  4. What a beautiful vase! And I'm so impressed with your bonfires! Not to mention your tractor--would it be correct to say Andy is having a ball?! We have only had one bonfire, and it was a biggie! Someone gave us a whole set of kitchen cabinets that we weren't able to use. We had to store them outside under an overhang and they weathered badly before we were able to find someone willing to come and get them. When we were getting ready to move, we decided to burn them. We mentioned this to a couple of friends who love to set fires. We dragged the cabs out into the open and gave the pyromaniacs some gasoline and matches. What a blaze! They were solid oak! I can't even begin to tell you how much easier this was than getting them home in the first place. (I still feel bad about wasting that wood, but life happens).

    Most of my week was about getting good deals. I bought a pair of black dress pants--which I needed desperately--for $7.49 at the liquidator that sells Costco returns. I can no longer schlepp 40 lb. bags of dog food myself. I ordered online from chewy dot com, set up autoship and saved $16 on my first order. I saved $8.60 with a coupon from Harbor Freight. They no longer do the 20% off anything coupons, but there happened to be one for the item I bought.

    I got 80% lean/20% fat ground beef on sale for $2.99 lb. It wasn't much of a special, because it's the most I have ever paid. I only bought 6 lbs. because I'm still hoping to see a lower price to stock up. I froze 3 lbs. and made two meatloaves with the rest--one for dinner and one to freeze (raw). I ground up some leftover pork roast and added it to the meatloaf mix. I ate one of my freezer meals last week, so it was a goal to replace it with another meal.

    Later in the week, but in the next week's grocery ad cycle, I bought 85/15 ground beef for $2.79 lb. at another store. I think that probably is going to be the rock bottom price for that grind. However, I like 80/20 just fine...and I'm still hoping for $2.49 or less. I haven't really stocked up, but I'm not feeling desperate, either.

    I am redoing a garden bed that didn't turn out the way I expected. I hired a kid to help and he never showed. That part was frugal, LOL. So, I am digging up plants myself and moving them, giving them away, or (in one case) throwing them away (too badly mangled to replant). I am doing it a little bit at a time and I am at the point where the rest can wait until next spring, if necessary. I bought broken bags of garden soil at Lowe's for 50% off (they do not advertise this, so you have to ask) and ended up with about 1/3 cubic yard. This should be enough to re-do the strawberry bed, which I am turning into a 3-day project to make it doable for a 75-year-old arthritic slug! (I am redoing it because it is a raised bed and the soil and compost have settled A LOT).

    I went thrifting for the first time in many months, even though I don't really need anything and don't want to bring more junk into my home. I hit Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul (on half-price day!) and bought 5 children's books and 3 water glasses (which we actually needed) for a total of $2.91 including tax. I donated the books to the Little Free Library.

    I found a penny in a parking lot and OF COURSE I picked it up!

    1. Dear Maxine, You had a big week of good deals!
      You should like you are going well on the garden bed. I think yes if you break it down into steps you will get it done. Also good thrift shopping. I have found so many sewing supplies, gifts, luxuries like my vase, this year. Many things to help my pantry too like jars and tins. You just never know!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. That vase is absolutely lovely! I really like the trades you work out with food for the use of your amazing cabin. I really feel like that is a win win situation for all!

    1. Thank you Debbie. I am so happy as when we moved here the cabin was such a wreck people suggested I been it down. Now it is such an asset! Enjoy a good weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Great deal at the shops! That vase is lovely. Congratulations on your lovely fruit trees and seedlings.
    Wonderful produce....how nice of those hunters.
    Our week continues to be busy with processing apples and tomatoes. Tomatoes are all canned into pizza sauce. The remaining apples are small and will be juiced in our juicer.
    Blessings to all!

    1. Dear Leslie,
      Apple juice is so good! Well done on beautiful pizza sauce. All the work is worth it to have such good things on hand. You added a lot to your pantry! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Annabel you and Andy are such a productive team. I potted up some toms for a friend who is just starting a small vegie garden. I also potted up some lettuce and herbs so she gets a salad garden for summer and gets to see how useful this can be.
    The full house re arrangement, in preparation for my son and his family moving in, continues. I cleaned out the laundry and made space for them to store their Laundry care items. Out tiny, one and only, bathroom (I thank goodness that the loo is separate), has been completely cleaned out. There is now two drawers in the vanity empty for their use, half the mirrored wall cabinet and a shelf in the cupboard for their shower and bath needs. I am going to get a suction cap, corner basket, to put up for their shampoos, bits and bobs. Bluey trips too easily so nothing can be kept on the floor of the shower.
    I have the cleaning appliance and the linen cupboard to do today and then all the shared cupboards have been completely sorted and space made available.
    Each day I am spending time, supposedly sorting out, but in truth just sewing in the sewing room. I have a pile of UFO's that I am determined to finish off and not just move elsewhere for another period of time. This week I used some old embroideries I made when I was learning to use my machine and made them into external pockets for some shopping totes that I made. One will be part of Mum's Christmas gift. I bought some cheap tshirts for the little girls and made them over with some pretty embroideries. Matilda told me she didnt have a unicorn dress anymore as she was too big and that Maddy was wearing it now. I have added a unicorn embroidery to a tshirt and hope this will fill the void. This is going in her Christmas gift.
    I have been practicing succession planting in my garden. This means that we are continuously getting small amounts of produce coming into the house. These small amounts have kept Bluey and I plus Katie and Jared in salad veg and greens over the whole winter. I have three or four tomatoes coming in every day. Some toms I grew from saved seed, and planted out a few weeks ago, are not flowering and small fruit is forming. This will be the next round of toms for the table. When it is possible to grow all year round then grow all year round and make the growing seasons work for you, is my mantra.
    Bluey has made over a dolly cot that was mine, then Katie's and will now be here for the little girls to use. He used 'Frozen' as the idea behind his colour scheme. It is a beautiful sky blue with white misted over the top. Now I need to get the cot linen made over to suit it.
    Life is busy but so good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      It is really good helping someone get starting with veggie gardening. We think alike!
      I am planning on continuous planting too adding every week or two and seeing how long I can keep the garden going for.
      It is a big job but so exciting with the family coming. All the effort you put in now will make it much easier.
      I just love the sound of the doll cot!! You had an extremely productive and busy week! With much love, Annabel.xxx

  8. Annabel the crystal vase you picked up was beautiful and I would have purchased that too as I love crystal too :) . The flannelette sheet you purchased will make lots of lovely things for the boys as well and you can never have enough cake tins.

    The pruning of the big trees seems to have made a huge difference to them and they are thriving so I hope you get a lot of lovely produce from them. Good you are making so much use of your tractor and cleaning up before the fire season and glad you are still getting so many eggs.

    We 3 days away from home this week for a medical appointment in Brisbane for DH so the week was a little disjointed but we still managed to build our pantry and take advantage of opportunities that presented themselves.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $118.19 in savings last week :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - Baked one loaf of wholemeal white bread saving us $3.49 over buying them locally.

    Purchases -
    - Saved 3% or $5.40 by buying a RACQ ww gift card for fuel.
    - Saved 4 c per litre or $4.82 on buying fuel using our WW fuel voucher.
    - By buying a bar of chocolate on special we saved $1.50 on usual prices.
    - Bought a 30 pack of 375 ml cans of coke on half price special for $20.15 or $1.79 a litre saving $20.15 on usual prices.
    - From Gatton in a wholesale produce shop on our trip we purchased 5.36 kg of broccoli for 0.99c per kg, .9 kg of bananas for $1.99 kg and 6 kiwi fruit for .29c ea saving $26.03 on prices in our local supermarkets. We will blanch and freeze the broccoli in meal sized portions for the freezer.
    - From IGA we purchased 4.3 kg of sliced rump steak on special for $14 kg saving $43 over buying it in our local supermarkets.

    In the gardens -
    - We picked around 20 lemons from our small fruit tree saving $13.80 over buying them in the local supermarkets. They have now been juiced and placed in ice cube trays in the freezer and will be used for ingredients in cooking later on.
    - We fertilised 2 of the small fruit trees in our yard with manure , watered it in and mulched them with well composted grass clippings.

    Hoping everyone has a wonderful week ahead and finds opportunities to build up their pantries and get ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      Firstly I hope the medical apps went well with good reports.
      I was nervous to cut the fruit trees back so it is a relief to see them looking good now.
      The broccoli price is amazing! And the bananas, I had to read that twice! What deals!
      It is great that you are harvesting lemons. I am fertilising and mulching fruit trees too. I seem to get a bit done everyday and am making up watering cans of liquid fertilisers using stinging nettles and chook manure. Pretty gross but it works!
      Have a good weekend and yes thinking of ways to add to the pantry and garden even when resting! With much love Annabel.xxx

  9. Hi Annabel! I am still working on the preparedness projects to catch up. Will be done with getting my car supplies ready tomorrow, then I do bug out bags and then will be caught up. I am beyond thrilled to be making such progress in preparedness, a million thanks for organizing and suggesting ideas.

    1. Dear Traveling Oltmans, You are doing really well. The car set up is important I think. I really thank you as you got me started with the 30 days series! It sure has turned out to be timely as all I am seeing is red flags as to why we should be preparing. It does feel good to do something constructive and not stress. Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Hi Annabel

    Well I am way behind and look forward to catching up again after school holidays are over.

    As always your photos are so wonderful to a glimpse into your life. The flowers and the vase are just gorgeous, so much fresh produce and a great idea that someone is able to use the cottage that you put such a great deal of effort into to. It must be fantastic to see people making use of this and being gifted in return. Love seeing how green things are looking on the farm.

    School holidays started with my feet hitting the ground and still not touching it yet. Sewing 3 days with DD11 as she has started a quilt for herself. I am up to hand stitching DP's quilt so he can have this for his birthday this week and as he is only working a short week I will be getting stuck into that tomorrow whilst DD is at a friends house. We had friends up to visit for 6 days so there were many sleepovers for the kids, dinner catch up's, movie watching and zip lining through the forest. Very busy first week. This week is for cooking, cleaning (well a little) birthday lunch for DP and of course he will be watching the footy with his team in the grand final.

    There could be the possibility of picking up the new car after 7 months. It has arrived in the car yard but they had a bit of trouble with the extras we ordered so they are trying to source them here before releasing it to us.

    Once school returns it will be more planning on Christmas but this year it is a hard one to even think what DD would like and starting high school next year, family still in lock down and looking like we may not even see Mum for Christmas is just doing my head in. Australia is still all over the place.

    Hope you and everyone reading has a wonderful week ahead

    Take Care and stay safe
    Aly xxx

  11. You had another very productive week. I really enjoy reading about your days and seeing the lovely photos. My week was just a lot of little things. I dehydrated some bell peppers, onions, pickles, spinach, and made ground beef jerky for the menfolk.
    I also did some baking for the freezer mainly apple oatmeal muffins and fresh apple cake as I had a small pile of apples that needed to be used.
    My daughter helped me give the front room a lift and add a few fall decorative items. She also thoroughly cleaned out the fridge and wiped it down with orange vinegar.
    I picked a few handfuls of possum grapes that we ate fresh, sadly not enough to can. The only thing in my garden is onions which I will probably get to in the next day or so. At the thrift store I found two lovely vintage cookbooks and a small tart dish decorated with apples my grand total was six dollars.
    I hope we all continue strong with our Bluebirding ways as our home nests seem to be the only calm, sane place.

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    1. Thank You everyone for sharing. 💕 It is beautiful and lightly raining today. This is very good it is cool like a fall day. It is a beautiful break from the heat. September is fire season here so we just keep an eye on the weather and have a go bag with medication,important papers, and cash. We have some shortages here the same as when all this started. Paper,pantry staples, workers
      no one has enough help. They have started to limit one toilet paper,one rice ect.
      We try not to watch much news and try to focus on a scripture a day. Today it is God will supply all my needs.💕 This is such a beautiful blog and peaceful place to be. I pray God would supply all your needs today.
      Be watchful, but one extra when you can. Be flexible with ways of filling the pantry. Sometimes a local Facebook group like, buy nothing or buy sell swap garden group on Facebook for trading eggs and veggies has worked for us. Sometimes you don't need it anymore but it can help someone else. We have away some electrolyte powder this week. I did not care for the taste but a local neighbor was happy. They picked it up and and think it is great. I will go back to making my own. I believe Annabel may even have a post on that.
      Great big hugs to everyone.
      Much love,
      Patti from San Diego


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