Feather your Nest Friday, 15th October, 2021.

 It is a cold and rainy Friday here but we never complain about rain.   This adds to several wet days and the green grass we have everywhere now.  It looks so nice. 

Some of the ways I built up the home this week included:

I used six bananas up in two Bananas Cakes.   One was sliced up for our freezer and the other I took to Chloe to help with work lunches.  She often feeds extra workers.    

I picked more flowers to enjoy and to try to dry some as well.  

They are lasting really well looking the same as the day I cut them.

My late night viewing has been Acre Homestead on You Tube.   (Amongst others!)  Last night I watched as she and her parents transformed her front garden with a big clear out and then adding a layer of mulch. 
I have just finished weeding my garden beds and it has taken several weeks.   It is looking so much better.  When I saw her layer of mulch I thought "that is what I need!"   It would help the plants to not dry out so fast over summer and suppress some of the weeds and look nice.  This morning I rang up to ask what our local garden centre had.   Even though we live so far from a town it has already been delivered!   I am amazed and so pleased with it!

So this is my weekend work lined up!

I had op shop success with clothes for the girls, a large piece of voile with a garden scene on it,  beautiful biscuit tins from Buckingham Palace gift store. 

We had a set back.  I lost two chickens to a fox.   This fox broke a small hole into a chicken house.  Now last night he dug a huge hole under my main chook house but did not succeed.   The hole and the mess are both huge.   He is working his way around all the places I keep chickens as I can see scratching.   Andy mended the place he broke in and brought in rubble to pack down hard around the house.   Now he is working on the next spot that is dug out.   I do not want to lose any chickens.   Two was bad enough.  

Because of so much beautiful grass we have feed for the cows and sheep that is, in places, waist high.   The cows have grown hugely.  Here are my biggest two. (Laffie, cow and Loui, steer). 

Molly is so good and my little shadow.  She has settled in and is a little boss. 

She knows her way around too.   She helps round up the chickens and ducks.   Not afraid of the roosters that are four or five times her size.   But when the cows came up to the fence she stood there until Loui bellowed.   Then she yelped and ran faster than a speeding bullet back to the house.  She was off!   Nope she did not like that at all.   Scout has warmed up and now they love each other.  

It is my youngest Grandsons first birthday on Monday.    I needed to wrap his presents so I was digging around in my gift cupboard.  At that point I thought I might as well get it all out and see what I have.  Over on The Tuesday Afternoon Club we start making our gifts in January.   Well it really adds up and by now I have forgotten some of what I have!   During the year I see things that are either just right for someone or an amazing deal and I add these in.   Very often I find things in the thrift stores too that are new or vintage like antique french ribbon which I know will make a beautiful gift.    So I got everything out and worked out who I have gifts for and what else I need.    I also remembered what Laine said to me a couple of years ago.   She had wrapped a lot of presents early then she was sick in December.  She was so glad she had done so much early.   So I wrapped four presents!  

I made a batch of laundry liquid.  My bottles were getting low.   

The recipe for the laundry liquid is here.    In the preparedness series I stressed always keeping on hand the ingredients to make your own.   This will enable you to have good clean washing for a very long time. I love how fresh my washing smells.

I made a batch of peanut Butter Biscuits.

We lit up another seven huge bonfires.   They burned all afternoon and all night.

It is good to have these big clean ups before summer comes.

Mum has been going thought things and found a card I wrote for Dad when I was about six or seven.  I remember being excited when we were allowed to use pen and write in cursive.

And look... mad on Bluebirds and nesting even then! 

Food shortages, fuel price rises, gas shortages and price rises etc have all made it to main stream media now.  It doesn't matter where you live now the global supply chain issues could impact your family.   One thing tends to impact another ie the energy shortage looks like it will force some British factories to close.  That affects the shelves even more!   We need to have our eyes and ears open.  To be good planners and thinkers.  Be adaptable and have out back ups.  The golden thing about it is unlike some things that hit hard and fast we have had plenty of warning and time to act.  This really is a gift!  

How did you build up your home, pantry, garden or preparedness this week? xxx


  1. If you ask at your nearest hairdresser for the hair they sweep up each day, you can strew it around the outside of the chicken fence. This is supposed to put off the foxes because it smells like humans are around. I can’t guarantee it, but we tried it the one time we had a troublesome fox! At worst, it will just compost down.
    It sounds like you had a good week, Annabel.

    1. Dear Gill, I could do this as I cut Andy's and my hair so I will! Worth a try. We beat the fox last night but can see new places he has tried. I would be pleased to get rid of this fox.
      Many thanks, Love Annabel.xxx

  2. Oh no! I am sorry about the chickens. It feels so helpless when marauders come in the night and we are not aware!

    We did go look at what is going on at our inland port. There usually just about 200 containers piled there but now it is huge towering stacks as as far as the eye can see. There are so many that we could not even figure out how they had gotten them stacked so high and close together. There are thousands. Not much was happening there where it is usually a bustling place. We are still not hearing the hours and hours of trains running to and from there at night,

    We now make lists of what we need/want from each store and just go see if we can find it. We get what we find and move on to the next store. When we get home the items we are still lacking go on next weeks' list. We are thankful for everything that we are able to get and restock. This morning my husband said he needs some new socks so I told him where to look and I had 2 packs of ten pairs just waiting for such a need. He will use one pack and he still has another for later. Another thing to be thankful for.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, It is really interesting that you could go take a look at the containers. I would be doing the same! I am also hearing from people with a sea view that can see all the ships! I would say people get used to the ships coming and going and what is normal... then see such a difference in the same way I am hearing the same about the trains. I think there is nothing like first hand observations!
      I think we need to shop as you say... get what we can, substitute where needed and re list the things we cant find. Good job on being well ahead with the socks!
      With love,

  3. Hi Annabel! Great photos again, love seeing Laffie and Loui and Molly’s face ;). You are so right about preparedness, this time we had huge amounts of warning, just like fall of 2019. Each week I set aside a bit more, last week was 2 lbs of gluten and dry yeast (I will freeze). I am still a bit uncomfortable about our dependence on electricity so my husband and I are going to look into generators. Probably something large enough to keep the fridge, freezer, water heater and lights going. Yesterday, I read in California the state just made owning small gas powered generators/equipment illegal (climate change related) and I rolled my eyes…some people there still have no electricity from the fires and used generators for their homes…what will they do now? Thanks again for your blog and photos, I really enjoy reading about your progress and seeing life in your countryside!

    1. Dear Traveling Oltmans, I know people who have lived in California all their lives and they think they may have to leave. Already they have so many blackouts...
      Keep your freezers full as you can. If you get a generator and your fridge and freezer is full and the power is out you only need to hook it up and run it a few hours a day to keep it solid. This way you can use a lot less fuel and do the things you need to do, keep the fridge and freezer going and the lights on. We were told 15 mins in the hour but we found we could go less as the freezers are fairly large. They stay solid well! It is really a good investment, that plus good containers to store fuel, etc. With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Close friends of ours drove from California to the east coast about six weeks ago. They were astounded by the number of moving trucks towing cars with California plates. People have had enough!

    3. Our pastor moved from California to Georgia to take the pastorate at our church but it's astonishing how many ex-Californians now attend our church. We met two such couples just Sunday night at the senior's supper. And John has a friend who left there this year and moved to Florida after living there for 20 odd years. The exodus out of that state is real!

  4. Dear Annabel,
    Can it really be Friday already? This week has been a blur with so very much to do..
    I forgot to ask you last week, but what are the blue flowers with white you were drying in last Friday's post. They looked a little like delphinium, but might be something native to AUS
    Love your biscuit tins. I have a small collection of metal candy tins and I enjoy the graphics on them.
    I'm sorry to hear about your chickens. Probably not a popular opinion, but I do love foxes, just have to find a way to make them coexist with the chickens. I have a friend who has chickens and she puts out bowls of white vinegar by the chicken coop. Foxes have a keen sense of smell and they don't like vinegar. Then she puts out some meat or dog food far from the coop. She has never lost a chicken in 25+ years.
    Molly is adorable and just too funny about her encounter with the steer.
    Thomas is turning one!? Amazing how fast the year went. I'm sure you all will have a delightful day.
    What a sweet card, and yes, I noticed the bluebirds on the front right away.
    Yes, we are seeing the major shortages here in the U S. The TP/ paper aisle is always almost bare. and other things are in short supply. My neighbor went to buy a 2 x 4 and discovered they now cost over $8 apiece. Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura, Well the weeks seem to speed up as the year goes on, that is how it seems to me! Last week I had blue/purple statice from the garden and white flowers from a scrub which I am not sure the name of.
      Foxes in theory are lovely but so many of us have had whole flocks wiped out and they kill them for fun they just leave them dead and dont actually even eat them. What they do to lambs I cannot describe.
      I am seeing timber is very expensive and short supply. We are seeing all kinds of odd shortages like in spare parts, machinery and it seems a bit worse every week. We need our wits about us! Enjoy your weekend! We have the birthday party tomorrow! With love Annabelxxx

    2. A fox works on territory basis and their territory can range up to 40 miles. I think they are lovely too and we had one raise kits here for years but we had no chickens only wild rabbits. But yes they do kill and it can be devastating if one gets the idea that a certain place is a 'feeding station'.

  5. Dear Annabel,
    Your Banana Cakes look delicious. Laffie and Louie are still pets :). Molly is a beautiful little girl.
    This week we received another meat order from the ranch we order from in WY. I decided with things going up and the beginnings of scarcity we should get bones for beef broth ordered, plus a few other fill in beef items. I ordered 30 packages of Femur bones and they had gone up $1.50 per package from three weeks ago. The other meats had gone up $1 per lb.
    I have been doing a lot of online researching for item availability and pricing this week. Many items have gone up anywhere from 10% to 50%. Some of the increases are shocking and just price gouging.
    We are fortunate in our area that items are still plentiful. Our Sam's, however, stopped stocking organic dry goods so we ordered some Organic Cane Sugar online from them. We are Plus members so it was free shipping. They had the very best price of anywhere we could find at $1 per pound for organic cane sugar. We ordered quite a large amount.
    I went back to the Mormon Food Calculator to see how much was needed to stock for 10 people for one year. I think a person would need an entire barn for storage, but we are doing our best with the space we have. I have, also, this week started putting together a recipe book strictly for food storage items; looking at what might happen.
    I made a gluten free cake this week and the recipe turned out delicious. I found it online and it can be made vegan, also. The only flour it uses is oat flour and it is extremely moist from the Almond Butter in it. If anyone would like the recipe I will send it to you to pass along, Annabel.
    Other than a Rheumatologist appointment and sewing, that was my week.
    I hope that you have a wonderful weekend, Bluebirds.

    1. Hi Glenda and good you are getting your food storage organised and it just so happens I am a Mormon or LDS.

      With the food storage guides you adapt them to your own circumstances and what you eat. How I started food storage was I wrote on the opening date of everything we ate on the packs/tins and when each was used. From there I built up what I would need for a month for two adults and worked my way up from there.

      For instance if you don't use or grind your own wheat then stick with storing flour instead or tins of beans instead of dry beans. Also 10 litre food grade storage containers for storing flour, sugar, oats etc can be stacked 3 to 4 high and save a lot of space if you have limited space.

      I know for instance we use a lot more powdered milk than what is listed and adapt it to our usage.

      We write the purchase dates on everything we buy in groceries and put new stock to the back of the shelves and use the oldest items first. Also I will quote a saying which is "stock what you eat and eat what you stock" or only buy things you know how to use or would like to know how to use.

      Hope this helps you and if you have any questions feel free to ask me.


    2. Hi Lorna,
      I just read your reply. That was so kind of you to respond. Thank you.

      We have done a year's food storage for 40 years. I learned from a wonderful Mormon lady that sold bulk foods. There is always more to learn, however, on any subject. Your input for all of us is very helpful.

      I am gluten intolerant, so storing many buckets of wheat and alternative grains has been a challenge. Recently, I have been led by the Holy Spirit, to count more people into our food storage, which was why I was checking the food calculator.

      The Mormon lady, I mentioned earlier, sold grain grinders and we started grinding grain at that time. Our daughter was very ill and by completely cooking from scratch and eliminating all preservatives, chemicals and dyes from her diet, her health turned around.

      Your response was so thoughtful and kind. Thank you again for reaching out to me.
      Love and hugs,

  6. So sorry about your chickens, Annabel! I have just found Acre Homestead. I have really been enjoying Becky's videos. She is very motivational! This week I dehydrated some apples that were getting ready to go bad and made apple jelly with the cores and peelings. I also did some straightening of the pantries.

    1. Dear Jennilee, Becky is really motivating! I have been learning a lot from her too. I aspire to the wheelbarrow full of produce in the kitchen! I love apple jelly, I hope come Feb/March I will be doing the same thing! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Oh! I almost forgot to mention how adorable Molly is!!! What a cutie!

  8. I'm glad I have been putting back gifts throughout the year since we also have a lot of birthdays in late November and in December. Last week, I ordered one Brambly Hedge book to add to five year old Piper's collection and I ordered about six Little Golden Books, those that are still published from the 1950s. They have such old fashioned illustrations and values, I know my daughter-in-law will like them, too. They are inexpensive and the perfect size for little hands.

    1. Dear Brenda, In our family it is December and January, one birthday after another! I love the Brambly Hedge books. Just adore them. The pantries and kitchens in this ebooks are my idea of perfect! Very good you have put away gifts all year you will be glad of that now. With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Hi Annabel and Laffie and Louie have grown so much :) . The biscuit tins are just so pretty and look to be in perfect condition. Your banana cakes look divine and the flowers are gorgeous. Little Molly looks like she is finding her feet and is a great little companion and funny about running when she heard the cow mooing. No doubt she will get used to the different sounds from the animals on the farm and good she is helping to round up the ducks and chickens for you.

    Yes the shortages are now widely advertised on the news which fortunately gives people advanced warning for around Christmas time.

    We were fortunate and able to find the like hens teeth ride on lawn mower blades for our Toro Mower at two different Stihl stores. We purchased two sets of uplift blades and one set of mulching blades as spares as they come from the U.S. One local Stihl store was unable to get the blades in from March this year. Happy we have some more when we need to change our blades. We have gradually been increasing our grocery stockpile as we see good half price specials, markdowns and other good prices on anything we use in the home.

    Looks like we have finally got a tradie/builder to replace the 2 stumps under the home and level it , fix the sagging tank stand shed, replace the two roof panels and do the wetback system for our guttering as the guttering does not have enough fall to drain the water away. He will be putting piping in from halfway down the home on both sides to divert more rainwater into our tanks and fixing any leaks in the guttering joins. His quote was so incredibly good compared to others we got which were extortionate but I will let you know the incredibly large savings once the work is finished.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $364.22 in savings last week :).

    We have had a lot of glorious rain here and our rainwater tanks are full and the property so green so not a lot of work done in the gardens last week.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 3 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread maker saving $10.47 on buying locally.
    - Cooked all meals from scratch.

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our home maintenance and 6 month emergency funds.
    - Paid an additional part mortgage payment off our mortgage to save both time and interest on the loan.

    Purchases -
    - From Coles we bought 8 tins of long life Harvest veges and meat and 5 kiwi fruit on specials saving $13 on usual costs.
    - From IGA on sale we bought 4 x natures organics conditioner and 3 x shampoo on sale saving $2.80 on usual prices.
    - From Woolworths we purchased on half price sale 8 x deodorants on half price sale saving $24 on usual prices. We were starting to run low as the half price specials seem to be further apart on these we noticed.
    - From Rivers on sales we purchased 4 cotton linen shirts and a flannelette sherpa jacket for DH saving $230.15 on usual prices. DH had had his eye on the jacket for sometime so I am glad I could get it for him at a good price.
    - Finally found another large steamer pot we have been looking for as quite often when we blanch and freeze our garden produce we can fill more than one. We managed to pick it up from Robins Kitchen on half price sale saving $79.99 on usual prices. These are like finding hens teeth in our local stores.

    Hope everyone has a wonderfully frugal week ahead.


    1. Dear Lorna,
      I am so glad you have found someone to take on those jobs and at a good price. All important work to get done.
      I think getting the blades was a good idea. There are so many things we dont think of that are imported parts or components.
      I can see how useful the steamer pot will be. Blanching big lots of veggies quickly to store away.
      You had great savings. I think of how you set up such a good pantry and how nice it must be to see your shelves filling up. It really is a great achievement and now we are really seeing how buying at good prices is paying dividends as they prices go up and the sales are less. I am also looking online for more items as you do and this has been enlightening! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. I know how you feel about foxes taking your chickens. We are still waiting for our replacement hens after the fox got all our girls at the end of August.
    This week was a big one for our Katie. She Graduated with an award Academic excellence in a Business degree with a major in marketing and a minor in social media. Jared, Spencer, Bluey and I were there as her cheer team. Spencer was great right up to when the Academics all marched in to incredibly loud music. Jared took him into another room until he settled again. There were only a few graduates but it was still full of pomp and ceremony.
    Our town was on the edge of a severe storm cell. We ended up with a much needed 30mm of rain. I'm just hoping it fell over the water catchment. Last week we were notified that the town is going up to L3 water restriction in early November. I so hope that we ended up with enough water in the catchment that this doesnt have to happen. The storm was pretty intense but we got through with no damage.
    My sewing room is almost empty of me. Once it is I will be transforming it into a pretty room for the little girls. I am still modifying my sewing space in the front room and transferring some furniture into the shipping container behind the shed.
    Katie gave me some beige blockout curtains. I bought a curtain rod on special and Bluey is putting this up in the spare room. The blockout curtains will help with keeping out light and heat in the room our son and DIL will be living in. It will also add another layer of 'finished' to the room.
    Jared's Dad has had a few really good fishing trips. We have had several lovely pieces of 'fish steaks' delivered to us. We had fresh fish for dinner on four evenings this past week. We call it Hervey Bay on a plate, as the salad it was served with, was straight out of the garden and the limes were off our little tree.
    Once it gets too hot here I will be letting my garden die off. We have garden renovation plans where I will need to be able to move the above ground beds. The old soil can then go through the composting bins and worm farms to become even more wonderful and fertile.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Congratulations to Katie. That is a wonderful achievement. The news has shown some major storms even Tornados in north NSW and huge Hail in QLD Record breaking hail! I hope you got enough rain to delay or remove the worry of restrictions.
      You have made a lot more progress for the family to move in.
      Wonderful to get fish steaks. What could be better than your Hervey Bay dinner! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. Sorry to hear about your chickens. So glad you have your other animals to lift your spirits.

    When my mom asked for the kids Christmas wish lists, I was surprised to see that I already had some gifts tucked away. So thankful for that as I'm still stocking my pantry. Harvested green tomatoes from the garden. Baked some Amish Green Tomato Bread tonight. It makes a great breakfast or afternoon snack. Also it freezes well.
    A friend let me harvest 8 hosta plants from her yard. These run about $9-$12 USD a piece. So thankful for these! Also sewed some handkerchiefs and a wool bag from scrap fabric. I scored a number of books from the discounted book store in the big city. So nice to combine errands with visiting family!
    Blessings to all,

    1. Dear Leslie, I love to combine visiting or appointments with some shopping if I am away from home. The Hosta plants are a great saving and so nice to add to your garden.
      I think by tucking away gifts all year it really makes this time of the year so much easier and less expensive too.
      Finding good books is a bonus too! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Seems impossible that we're halfway through October already! I'm sorry about your chickens, Annabel.

    What fun you are having with Molly! You know that every dog needs a job--and border collies need supervisory positions, LOL.

    It's fall in the USA and we had two nights of hard frost earlier this week in northern Idaho. I dug up two tuberous begonias to try to hold them over the winter. This was the first time I've grown begonias and they were fab!

    I made a big batch of beef stew and froze enough for another meal.

    My phone battery is dying every night. Samsung batts were around $15 on Amazon. I bought a Samsung on ebay for $7.49. Lots of new stuff on ebay, including name brands, and always worth a look.

    I used Office Max/Office Depot Rewards (mainly from battery deals and returning empty cartridges) to buy printer ink. Frugal fail: I didn't keep very good track of my Rewards balance and let some expire.

    This week I stocked up on Progresso soups for .99, first 2 lbs. of butter for $1.97 and got a rain check for American Beauty pasta for .49 lb. The pasta shelf was completely empty and the soup was stacked in cases in the aisle. The soup and pasta will fill some holes in the pantry, and cheap butter in the freezer is better than money in the bank!

    1. Dear Maxine,
      I am glad you were able to add to the pantry. Good you were able to get a rain check. It sounds like the weather is turning! Bergonias are just lovely. My phone battery is on the way out too, not lasting long. I need to take action also!
      Hope it has been a good week! With love Annabelxxx.

  13. Annabel, it is always so refreshing when you post on Fridays. In spite of all the negative things going on in our world you find ways to remind us of all the good and beautiful blessings we have. All your lovely photos make me happy! I'm sorry about the loss of your chicks. I hope you are able to "out-fox" that bad guy before he does any more damage. I know it goes with the territory but it is always disheartening to lose a chicken!

    We got so much rain this week! When we went to town yesterday we had to take the long way around due to our road being closed because of high water. It was worth it because we had a good shopping day. I hadn't been to our stores for several days and I noted there were more shortages on the shelves along with higher prices on quite a few items, especially in the meat department. Unless we want to drive another 45 miles, our grocery shopping options are limited to one grocery store and a WalMart. We took advantage of some sales and had a good stock-up. Our farm supply had a special going on men's jeans so Greg got new jeans and I got a spare pair of rubber boots and found several packages of vegetable seeds. All practical things we don't want to be without. As people wake up and become more aware of the shortages I predict there will soon be panic buying. And this time it won't be limited to toilet paper! Annabel, your preparation series helped everyone here get ready for it! I wasn't able to keep up with all the daily suggestions but I am taking the time now to review those and continually upgrading our preps.

    We have a wonderful cool front this morning and I am itching to get outside. I hope you Bluebirds have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Pam, Now I know why these sayings exist... "out fox" "cunning as a fox" etc. They are sneaky and tricky.
      It was great you did well at the store and also the jeans for your husband. Boots and seeds are good items too!
      I agree with you... as we get closer to Christmas and people notice the gaps in the stores more and more there will be a tipping point... then there could easily be panic. This is why we must be on the ball early and avoid all of that. If panic happens we do not want to be out there.
      It is almost Friday again, I hope it has been a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Dear Annabel, Thankyou for sharing your photos, they make me smile, your little card to your Dad was so cute, and Happy 1st Birthday to little Thomas. I had a successful trip to an opp shop this week. For the fantastic price of $3.50 I found John Seymour's book The New Complete book of Self Sufficiency. I have wanted this book for a long time. I looked up Ebay and there are copies on there for sale from between $65 and $145!! How lucky am I! I was really excited about it. I also found a Sunbeam electric frypan which we had been wanting and several other very handy items. We planted pumpkins this week and have corn to plant out today. I also put straw around my strawberries today. My daughter has been leaving lemons for the public to take and leave coin donations in a box at my husbands work, people have been very generous and she has collected $47 so far. I had to have a covid test yesterday as I have a procedure at the hospital on Tuesday. I have to isolate until then. I hadn't quite got my head around that (the fact I had to go straight home after test) - when they told me, I thought oh no... then I thought, it is OK I have lots of things stored at home and do not need any extra food or to worry. It is such a comfort to be prepared. Thankyou to everyone for their comments, I always learn from you all too. I am going to write down the hair and vinegar tricks if I ever have fox trouble here. So far I haven't but I know the previous tenants did so I am always on the look out for any signs. Take care Bluebirds, love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      Wow I am so happy you found that book! I am going to go look for this book. I have Carla Emery's Enyclopedia of Country Living. I grew up reading that. it is my favourite book. Now I will investigate this one.
      Great deal on the frypan also!
      It is just wonderful about your daughter selling the lemons. I bet she is amazed what she has made so far! I hope things went ok for you at hospital. I hope you are doing well and so pleased you have everything you need at home. With much love Annabel.xxx

  15. Would you be so kind as to share some of your favorite YouTube sites you enjoy...similar to your own blog, which I love so much. I just checked out Acre Homestead you mentioned and bookmarked it. I TRY to restrict my viewing to a few minutes in the evening , but often as not, it stretches on and on! Thank you so much.

    1. Dear Mary, I dont not watch tv so you tube is it for me and often I will watch a couple hours late at night. I love it. Ok so yes Acre Homestead is the most recent one I love. Roots and refuge farm you probably would love. The Elliot Homestead. Rain Country. Living Traditions Homestead (I think that's right)... I learn gardening from Self Sufficient Me. For any info on supply chains and food issues Ice Age Farmer. I will try and think of more! With love Annabel.xxx

  16. Mollie is so cute! I love that she's herding chickens. She'll get those cows herded sooner rather than later but I'll just bet you had a good laugh over her first reaction to the cows mooing.

    I've been looking and listening and like Lana can share that while we don't live near the coast we have a very active railway that travels through our town. Now that the weather is cooling I should be able to hear trains...So far I'm not hearing many! I am going to keep listening. I often can't hear them in summer months since we have AC or fans running but in winter when it's quieter we can hear better.

    In the grocery I didn't find a lot of outages but the meat prices had increased by dollars per pound on most beef. Oddly the least expensive ground beef at Aldi was Wagyu beef and it was $4 per pound. We don't eat pork but I've noted prices range anywhere from $1-$3 per pound higher. Pork has been cheap meat, vying with chicken for low costs for years.

    Do be sure and read articles with 'alarming' headlines. I kept seeing lots of headlines about buying holiday food items ahead etc but delving into them it wasn't due to expected shortages it was said to 'save time' when the holidays get busy. Lana commented last week on my blog that she'd asked about turkeys at a popular grocery chain we both have in our states and she was told they had plenty but were saving them to put out closer to the holidays. Gather information from one another and ask managers at stores etc why outages are occurring.

    All that said, I haven't seen whole kernel corn at Aldi in months. My supply was down to 2 cans . I have taken to looking at grocery items in whatever store I happen to be in. If I see an item reasonably priced that will fill a gap in my pantry or freezer I go ahead and buy it when I see it.

    I'm also creating lists of items we need to replace and trying to buy one or two of them each month. And thanks to Annabel's preparedness I'm adding in some of our favorite candies and buying much beloved author's books if I find them in thrift or private sales that are very reasonable.

    Like another said, I'm fortunate that I'm not living in an area with a lot of outages at present. It's all minor things and short term outages on those at present. Prices are increasing but aren't at such a level that we can't afford things entirely. I'm relying on my old and oh so familiar skills to use the cheapest cuts and stretch stretch stretch into multiples of meals.

  17. I love the look of those classic Vanilla Extract bottles! I have been seeing a few easy DIY Vanilla Extract recipes lately, and now that we are out of lockdown, I look forward to visiting my local Indian grocer for some vanilla beans. I can't wait to try making it and adding those sweet labels :)
    This week we were blessed with a big box of fresh produce from my in-laws. They kept enough for the two of them and then handed the rest onto them. With the extra broccoli we were given I've made a vegetable frittata today (that also uses up some of our abundant egg supply) and added more (plus some of the other vegetables) to my leftover roast chicken pie for dinner tonight. I also got busy and chopped carrots and capsicum sticks so they are ready to be grabbed for quick snacks or side dishes for week night dinners. As it's warming up here we don't mind raw veggies with our dinners. The garden is going well but it's definitely time for some rain. I'm glad we haven't had any frost, especially with my tomato seedlings in!
    Lots of alarming news about supply shortages, but we are doing well with our Cheapskates Christmas challenge and presents are all ready to be wrapped (already!) I feel good knowing that our pantry is stocked, with extras for the festive months ahead, and that we are doing our best to be self-sufficient and prepared for whatever may come. With the shops opening again I look forward to going back to the op shop for materials and other goodies. Have a great week Annabel and the Bluebirds!
    Kirsty x - itsaclassicallife.blogspot.com


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