Feather your Nest Friday, 22 October, 2021.

It was a week of beautiful Spring days.   The whole truckload of compost is spread over the garden beds and it looks beautiful.  Now I ordered some more!   I want to keep going and top up the raised garden beds and make moats around all the fruit trees.  Luckily that won't arrive until next week as every bone in my body is sore!

The pumpkins are starting to take off.  I made a watering can of disgusting liquid fertiliser for them.  

Now it is warm enough to be watering every day but this is nice as I can see things growing!   

Speaking of disgusting...  in one of the raised garden beds I dug out some potatoes ready to replant it with Spring veggies.    

Over several days I brought in lovely potatoes.   Two of my Bantams had laid a heap of eggs that I left in the nesting boxes hoping one of them might go broody and hatch some.   But no, neither could be bothered apparently.   So these now rotten eggs needed to be dealt with.   Once I dug out all the potatoes I replaced them with eggs and buried them.   Disgusting but nutrients!!  

Then I planted that bed up with tomatoes, capsicums, thyme and zucchinis.   They are looking good.  If they do well I will credit the rotten egg fertilising system!

I began to go through the things I made all year for Christmas.   So far I made up gifts of crochet cotton cleaning cloths,  hand dyed ribbons,  reels of cottons and button cards.  It is fun to see gifts coming together.

My potted tomatoes and herbs are doing really well.   I have made it so I have planted something new each week and hopefully will get an extended harvest season.

I had some Rosemary in a jar to take root and potted it up.  I dug up some of my parsley that had self seeded and potted up some spare seedlings to make a little garden gift for a friend.

We had our last fires for the season.   To give you some scale the back tyre on the tractor is my height.   Which isn't that tall as I am 5 foot 1.   But anyway you can see the burn heaps are big! 

Oh I just noticed you can see Andy next to the tractor!   

Molly is an absolute delight.  She knows her way around and visits all the animals.   The goats are her best friends, aside of Scout that is.

I cleaned out part of one of the freezers.   A good sort out and re arrange.  I made a meal with something I forgot I had!  It is amazing how neat stacking and reducing packaging can fit so much more in the freezer or pantry.

So it was a lovely week with lots of little ways to make progress.   I hope it was a good week for you.   How did you build up your home, garden or pantry?    Keeping at it and being consistent makes little things add up so much.  xxx


  1. Annabel, this post is jam packed full of goodness! This is blossoming in the difficult times!! Thank you!!!!!


    1. Thanks Rachel. There is lots of goodness and beauty and opportunity still that is for sure! I start a new week with sunshine and more mulch! Have a very good week! xxx

  2. Dear Annabel,
    Molly is so precious. She truly is a beautiful girl. Your plantings look healthy and it is the beginning of your growing season there and the end of ours.

    Most of this week has been planning, cooking to freeze, and family. Tomorrow, our daughter and grandson are coming for lunch. We wanted to give our grandson his Christmas and birthday presents before he leaves for Boot Camp the first week of November. He will be gone for @ five months and we can't send hin anything until he is done with Basic Training. He is going into the Army National Guard in our State.

    I cooked up stew meat and chicken breasts and froze the meat for future meals. I still have relish to make and can, along with a large variety of berries to process.

    Our food storage room is overflowing and that has, also, been an ongoing project for me as time allows. When we moved into this house the designated food storage room was 1/3 the size of space we had for 35 years in our prior home. Since we have always stored so much food and purchased in bulk, I have found it more difficult to organize sections as I used to do. However, a new plan is bubbling in this old brain, and there is always a solution to every situation in life.

    I have booked, with myself one day or, at least, one afternoon a week to sew. This week I made new placemats for our dining table. I have a few projects for gifts to finish next week.

    I hope all Bluebirds are well and thriving. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Your Grandson has grown up so much since we first became friends so I cant even believe he is off to boot camp! I am happy you could get together and give him his Christmas and Birthday presents that was wonderful.
      Your food storage room sounds great. I put a room like that high above a spare room. Many people have rooms sit idle that could be a food pantry. Fantastic to have.
      I am glad too that you are making time to sew as I know you enjoy it so much.
      It is beautiful here today (Monday) with sun shining. I am planting some more and collecting eggs and so on and it is just lovely. Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Dear Annabel, I love your filled with optimism posts, always waiting for them on yourThursday (which for me in Romania is Friday). Molly is adorable! Your week was so productive! I had a few very busy weeks both at work and at home - we are harvesting the grapes from the vineyard and my husband makes homemade wine every year from a recipe passed to him by his father and now he tries to pass on to our son. Very tasty red wine!! Our country is in knees due to Covid -we have the highest number of deaths in Europe, the hospitals are full and we have pacients sent to Hungary and Polland. From this evening we are in lockdown again and still there are people who ignores the c19 and don't want to wear masks. Schools are closed again, shops have to close earlier and we cannot go outside at night time. Our economy and government is weak already so this will affect even more all of us. The prices are running up every day and if you pay attention some shortages begins to show here and there. I keep preparing for winter and pray for calm, health and peace over my home. Christmas preparations is on my top list as soon as I finish some comissioned knitting jumpers. Perfect for the long autumn evenings while browsing youtube. Have a relaxing weekend and see you next time with better news. With love, Laura_s_world

    1. Dear Laura,
      Thank you so much. You did have a very productive time. The vines and all they provide is wonderful. When they are trimmed you could make wreaths but probably already do! Many beautiful possibilities. Our news really doesn't say much about covid in Europe. Now and then only that I see. This is severe and a big strain on your country and the hospitals. It is a catastrophe medically, socially and financially. We need to think of all these things. I would love to see your commissioned knitted jumpers! What a good little industry to have!! All the work you do now re Christmas, the winter... be careful you know you will have fuel for keeping warm... it will all put you in a big advantage Laura. Stick with it, you are doing a good job! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Those huge tractor tires always fascinate me. You seedlings are beautiful. I love watching them grow.

    We had a lovely week of rest and time together at our lake house. The weather was gorgeous every day. Today we are packing to go home. It's back to reality for us.

    1. Dear Lana, Your time at the lake house sounds beautiful. How good. So glad you got this break. Our bodies and minds need the break too! Have a very good week back at home. With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Dear Annabel,
    I'm late getting here to read your week. I wanted to comment that I don't love foxes more than lambs/sheep. It is probably rarer to see one here. I've only seen two red foxes in the 30+ years we've lived here. There are sheep farms though, so I'm sure those farmers take precautions as you do. We do see white-tailed deer and they are lovely as long as they are waaaaay back from the road.
    How nice to see your garden up and going. Of course, here in the US, our has been put to bed.
    Your ribbons for Christmas gifts look so sweet. handmade gifts are so nice.
    Molly is a sweetie. I love her alert gaze. I'm happy she and Scout are good friends and I can just imagine her romping with the goats. Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura,
      Yes the true Spring weather has picked in and it is very nice. I am still planting planting! We also have some deer, they are introduced here also but we quite like them. They certainly look so scenic. I would love to see snow as that is so pretty to me especially for Christmas! Have a good new week. With love Annabel.xxx

  6. In the old house I buried a couple of chooks in the veggie beds. Most productive beds ever!

    1. Dear Frogdancer, Yes I have done it too. Also dead rabbits. I watch a you tube channel called Self Sufficient Me which is Australian. His wife hit a Kangaroo on the road accidentally killing it. He buried it under his banana tree for fertiliser. People said oh my goodness that is the most Australian thing ever. He was well I am not letting it go to waste! So from then I have thought of this! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Fall is upon us in the PNW region of the USA, so our garden is pretty much done for the season! We pulled all the tomatoes plants except two Sun Golds that are a determinate cherry variety and are still producing. Also have a sweet banana pepper plant that is still producing! And my wee lettuce seedlings that I planted as seeds the first of Sept, are growing in the cold frame we put on the raised bed! I’m hoping to grow lettuce all winter long! (I don’t have a green house) We’ll see, depending on how cold a winter we have this year. Gardening is always an experiment for me, and different every year!
    I don’t have a “gift cupboard” per se, but we have tucked a few Christmas gifts for the little grands in the back of our closet! Not sure yet, what we’ll give their parents, but hope to keep it simple and practical this year.
    Also, I stocked up on under things and bought a couple pair of athletic (practical) shoes for me earlier this month. Just trying to stay ahead of the game and stock up on things we’ll need down the road, not knowing how everything is going to pan out with the back up of shipping containers in our main ports! Your 30 day preparedness series gave me a lot to think about! And I always look forward to your Friday posts! Appreciate all your advice!


    1. Dear NanaC,
      Gardening continues to be an experiment for me too, this is only the fourth summer here so I have had to try many things and have had wins and loses but eep trying!
      A gift hiding place is just as good! Things stashed away are so helpful! The ships at sea are just everywhere. Seems ports world wide are held up. It doesn't appear to be improving so my thought still is as consumer demand for Christmas (and Thanksgiving) go up then the gaps could increase. Anyway as you say we stay ahead and watch out. Thank you for your kind words! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. We had an overwhelming experience yesterday! Our newest grandson, 10 days old, was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome as well as Hirschsprung Disease so he has been in the NICU at our Children’s Hospital since his birth. His mom and dad (our son) have 5 other children!
    We found out yesterday that their fridge was still not cooling enough- 50 degrees rather than 40. Repairmen have been out several times and “fixed” it but supposedly they should replace the fridge under it’s warranty. But they have been dragging their feet and the next repairman couldn’t come out for another week, even though they called for service 2 weeks ago! 😱
    Dave and I just received a 10% off coupon from Home Depot, so we went over to the store to look at new fridges.
    What happened after that was nothing short of a miracle! We told the salesperson what we were looking for and what price point we wanted to stay under, if possible. We told her the situation that made it so vital . All of a sudden, she took us over to a GE brand with all the features that we had hoped for. It was the model from the past season and that specific floor model was going to be replaced next week with the new season’s model. So they had substantially reduced the price only for that specific floor model to make space for the new model coming in next week.
    She said we could buy this floor model without waiting for a different one to be ordered and then come in (which, at best, wouldn’t have been less than 2 weeks)!
    We checked out delivery and we’re anticipating that would be several days in the future as well! We were bowled over when she was able to set the delivery up for the very next day!! That never happens!!
    Then we were able to use the coupon we got in the mail to take another 10% off!!
    To say that this is remarkable or a tender miracle is an understatement! We are so grateful that because of careful budgeting, we are able to do this without causing a wrinkle in our budget and without dipping into savings since the Home Depot card won’t be due until Dec 18th!!

    We are so grateful!!

    1. Gardenpat: Your comment stirred deep emotions in me. What a "tender mercy" the refrigerator purchase! Holding you and your family close to my heart.

    2. Dear Gardenpat,
      I read what you wrote about your newborn grandson. I’m not sure what to say…but, I do know that God’s sweet grace will envelope your family and protect the little one. This beautiful baby will be surrounded with love!

    3. Congratulations on your new grandson. I have a 45-year-old daughter with developmental disabilities--not Down syndrome, but same net result. She is the joy of our lives. I know he will be for your family, too.

    4. Dear Gardenpat,
      What a week you had. I hope your Grandson is going well. I googled this disease as I had not heard of it. I am praying this can be rectified and his bowel will work as it is meant to. I am praying for him and his parents and siblings I am sure he is going to be a blessing to all.
      What a great story of the fridge. What a help!

      Dear Aunt Diane and Maxine, thank you both for being so encouraging to Pat. xxxx

    5. God only chooses the most special people to be the parents of Down's children. It will be hard but He will be there every step of the way and that son will be such a blessing to your family. Hugs to you all.

  9. Another productive week for you, Annabel! That mulch is great, and will make such a difference to your garden over the summer. I used pea straw mulch on one of my front gardens this year, but from now on it will be reserved for the vege gardens at the back - the blackbirds fling it all over the lawn, searching out worms, and every day I have to go and rake it back onto the garden!
    The bundles of ribbon you dyed look so pretty, bundled up and labelled. Are they to be used for ribbon embroidery? I'm not an embroiderer, but I think they will make the most beautiful gifts. I'd be happy just to pile them in a basket and play with them!
    Your preparedness series might be over, but I am still working on it, and I am putting together a blackout kit as a gift for my son and daughter-in-law, who live on a small block in the country and have power cuts more often than we do.
    All the best to you and all the other Bluebirds.

    Linda in NZ

    1. Dear Linda, I am so pleased to hear about the blackout kits you are making! Really they are fantastic gifts. I can visualise the Blackbirds having a great time in your mulch too!
      The ribbon I dyed probably isn't colour fast so I am putting a card with it and imagine it being used in card making and gift wrapping etc. I started making it because of making gift tags and cards and loving vintage looking ribbons to use. I know a fair few card makers so I hope they will enjoy it.
      Thank you for telling me you are still working on your preparedness. It is always a work in progress, like. pantry or garden. With love, Annabel.xxx

  10. It's been a busy week with more than usual keeping of grandchildren. The youngest boy is asleep right now in the guest room staying the night with us. I have the three from across the field tomorrow afternoon and evening. I am looking forward to Sunday which is my only day 'off' this week, lol. John asked me to go to the dollar store in our town earlier this week to buy socks for youngest boy. I said I look at grocery items wherever I am shopping. I found whole kernel corn in this store and picked up a few cans for the pantry. I got a few more items for the pantry, too. I am at my grocery budget limit right now but it was nice to add to the pantry.

    Our fall weather disappeared and warmed back up but it's meant to cool down once more this next week. I try to track the weather now that we're getting nearer frost. I want to gather cuttings of several annuals and bring indoors to root and plant. It buys me a little time and saves space to root and replant over bringing in all the plants and trying to find places to put them all.

    Not much else to report this week but we're here and we're still thriving.

    1. Dear Terri, Caring for the Grandchildren is keeping you extremely busy. Thank goodness you get a day off! I know how exhausting it is because if I have the girls for a couple of days I need several to catch up and they are bigger now and mush easier!
      Good job on adding to the pantry. I hope you get your cuttings all done in time, I always seem to have some cuttings in the window sills! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. Annabel you have done so much in the gardens and having all the fallen timber and shrubbery cleaned up and burned will make it far safer in the summer season. All of the cutting you planted up will make someone's garden very productive with little cost :) . The dyed ribbons are beautiful and glad your gardens are growing so well.

    We have been going over our walk in pantry and making a plan to stock more in the coming months due to promised extreme price rises and shortages etc. So like yourself we will be doing a very large shop this month to fill in any gaps we have and increase our stocks more.

    In the kitchen -
    - We made 3 loaves of wholemeal white bread saving $10.47 over buying it locally.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch and also went through things and used up a lot of the little bits and pieces of frozen fruit we had in the freezer. We were able to make a family pie from frozen blueberries and strawberries we had in there that needed using and also another fruit pie made from more frozen strawberries, mulberries picked from our trees and strawberries for a friends birthday.

    In the gardens -
    - We are slowly building up our compost pile garden beds layer by layer as we have fruit and veg scraps to fill a layer.

    Purchases -
    - From Rivers on specials for $10 ea we purchased for DH 2 x dressing robes, 1 white cotton shirt, 3 flannelette shirts and 6 polar fleece shirts saving $479.88 on usual costs. DH is now decked out well and truly for the cold winters we get here so we won't have to buy him any more clothing for some time.
    - From IGA on specials we purchased a 6.28 kg whole rump at $10 kg (cut free) and 4 dozen eggs for $2.50 ea saving $67.60 on usual costs. I will dehydrate some of those eggs for our pantry so we have stocks should we not be able to get eggs. We have been using the ones we dehydrated before and made a lot of biscuits and brownies with them so they are wonderful for baking.
    - From Coles we purchased 7 x tins of spam on sale for $3.30 ea and a 32 pk of 3 ply toilet paper on specials saving $17.40 on usual prices.

    Hope everyone's week ahead is good :) .


    1. Dear Lorna, I think your pantry room is fantastic. If I could ever visit you I would say "show me the pantry room please!" one second after getting in the door!
      My brother was here and he was talking prices rises, fertilised shortages and part shortages ie for tractors and trucks... he is a farmer. ALL of these things could lead to delays, shortages and further price increases. It looks certain. Just general petrol prices and trucking... long distances we have means prices for everything on the shelves have to rise. So I dont think anything pays dividends like being ahead with what we need and use.
      Your berry pie sounds just beautiful!
      It is funny that when we think of QLD we dont think of cold weather yet you obviously do get cold winters. I am glad you did so well with the dressing owns etc and the savings there were amazing! You did well with the grocery deals as well. That steak would be so good. It is a good tip that hey will cut it for you. You can choose the thickness then. A very good week! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Thank you Annabel :). I shall send some photos for you via email of the pantry so you can have a sneak peek. We are so grateful for having some backup supplies in food especially at the moment.

      I read a news report that prices for groceries are rising after the end of this month and they will rise 20 - 30% more starting February March next year. They also mentioned a shortage of fertilisers as well, tin for making cans and raw materials such as plastic and paper packaging made overseas. So they said if anything you use is packed in plastic, tin or paper expect price rises.

      Also friends from comments below said the shipping companies are prioritising essential items first being food and medical items followed by everything else so expect long delays.

      Friends of ours work in the carpet and tile industry and they say their shipping costs have risen 40% on all the products that they sell. It is so bad for them they cannot give corporate customers quotes on the prices of their products they order until they land here and they get the invoices.

      Hope this info helps both yourself and others in Australia here to prepare better.


  12. Your plant shots are lovely Annabel! Everything is looking so green and healthy. It’s exciting to look through the gift cupboard in the lead up to Christmas!

    This week I sold lots of items we no longer needed and made over $300. I was really pleased with this both in terms of the money going to our emergency fund but also the room cleared. I have another lot of stuff to sell so will set aside some time tomorrow to get that done.

    I received more cheap chicken, less than $3/kilo for boneless meat. So that is portioned up and in the freezer. It is so helpful to get that.

    I bought some plants that were reduced to $1 a punnet, due to not looking great. There was lettuce, capsicum and some herbs. I’m hoping they will enjoy a bit more space and sunshine and start looking a bit healthier soon.

    I’m all sorted for larger presents for Christmas, so just a few stocking filler items to go. I’m so pleased with this as we are getting warned in the news that there may be supply issues with some products.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. I agree with you Jen! Having this warning about supply issues has certainly helped me be prepared for Christmas and this week more gifts that I ordered online and on sale arrived. We are doing well in that regard! We also picked up some seedlings and got these in the garden. It's still a bit early to plant (there's always the threat of frost until November here) but we took the risk. We can always cover them if the frost returns. We now have zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, parsley, basil and onions in the garden. The potatoes which were already there are doing really well.
      We are preparing to head back to work (as we are both teachers), coming out of lockdown so we have worked hard this week to stock up the pantry and freezer and plenty of made meals and muffins/slices on hand ready to go. I feel like the end of this year is going to fly by now! Also, the aloe vera that I seperated a couple of weeks ago is taking really well and will make nice gifts.
      I hope you have a relaxing weekend and get those bonfires done. What a relief to have all that out of the way coming into summer.
      Take care x
      Kirsty ~ itsaclassicallife.blogspot.com

    2. Dear Jen,
      Well done on the sales! That money is going to be so handy and also the space this created, a true win/win!
      Jen many people see the news ... some think it is too much of a headache and dont feel they can deal with warnings. Some think it is a marketing ploy. Ok that could even be true until we check and see there are thousands of ships at sea not moving. Prices for a shipping container at historical highs... and so we can see it is not a marketing ploy. (Good to consider these things but dangerous to dismiss stuff this important!) We can use this warning just like we would if we knew a storm was coming in a warning gives us time to prepare! Like Kristy said too... we can use it to our advantage for sure.
      You are doing so well with Christmas! I hope the plants all thrive for you too!

      Dear Kirsty,
      Thank you. You have reminded me I have an Aloe Vera I could be dividing! It has heaps of babies! I even have small pots and succulent potting mix!
      I hope going back to work in the classroom goes well. Your meals and slices etc will be so good. The garden sounds just lovely and productive! Many thanks. Love Annabel.xxx

  13. Dear Annabel,
    Your garden is doing well and will be even better with all of that mulch! We ordered a wood chipper/shredder so that we can make our own from all of the brush on the ranch. This was to replace one we already had but we upgraded to one that will work better for the type of wood that we have. We have waited months for it to arrive, and while it was supposed to be here this month, delivery has now been pushed to November because of an issue finding parts. We have also been waiting for a tiller engine for months to fix ours. It seems that is the norm.
    We've been struggling to get the garden going, as the seeds we planted did not germinate. We replanted this week and I am being extra diligent in caring for them. My roses are doing fantastic, though! Colton took me to a place called The Antique Rose Emporium a couple months ago and I was able to accomplish my dream of purchasing some David Austin roses.
    I love seeing your pictures of Molly. Our border collie, also Molly, sadly died the week before last. She was 10 and we had her almost our entire marriage. I was so happy to see you call yours Molly.
    I realize my comment is a bit "doom and gloom" but we are actually doing quite well, haha! I don't have much to report other than staying busy at home with the children, which is what I love! I have started blogging again and have found the time to do a little crafting as well, and that has been very nice.
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Hi Kelsey, from another shredder fan! Those parts will be worth waiting for, I'm sure. We have a small backyard shredder/mulcher which is about 25 years old and has had several parts replaced or mended over the years. I think it is my favourite piece of garden equipment, and has worked harder than anything else in our garden - with the exception of my husband, that is! We shred all prunings and clippings, except those with seeds, and put the resulting mulch straight back on various parts of the garden. It's so easy to use, and has saved us a fortune over the years. We try to keep basic parts on hand these days. I hope you don't have to wait much longer to have it up and running again.
      Linda in NZ

    2. Dear Kelsey,
      I think a wood chipper would be a really good investment. I am going to look into that thank you. I am hearing everywhere this issue with long waits for parts!!
      I am so happy you got your David Austin Roses. I LOVE them too. I hope your new plantings come up for you! I am so sorry about your dog Kelsey. I didnt know (or remember) she was also called Molly. She had 10 wonderful years though. I will come over to your blog. Now the boys are a little bigger it will be easier to craft and sew and blog. However... as they grow it is just busy all the time but in different ways! Having the ranch, space outside and the gardens is very good for the children. Many thanks! With love, Annabel.xxx

  14. Annabel you have definitely settled well into your chosen Farm lifestyle. I sometimes think how much I would love to move back to the farm, and then I go for a wander down to the beach and am grateful for where we are in our lives right now.
    We have had some wild storms, including small hail, blow through this week. Thankfully we didnt suffer any damage. There has been a little bit of rain and we are grateful for every drop. The result of the rain has been high humidity and the temps have gone up as well. Today I have the bore going and am watering the garden heavily to get it through the current hot weather.
    Our six new chooks arrived this week. These girls need some time to mature. We're thinking it will be Christmas before we get any eggs. Bluey already has one, called Freckles by our Katie, tame enough to pick up. I named another Mellow Yellow. The little girls got together and we have Buk Buk and Chickie Nugs, named by Maddy and Snowflake and Flower, named by Tilly.
    I'm glad Molly and Scout are good buddies. Enjoy your week.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, The beach has many advantages and you have your hens and garden. A pretty good set up!
      I am glad you got some rain but I dont think much of high humidity! The chooks will tame down fast. I hope Bluey knew how the fox got in and they will be ok. Its a constant watching foxes here worrying they will find a new way in. When the girls come they will want to feed the chooks and collect the eggs, you will have helpers! Have a good new week. With love Annabel.xxx


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