Feather your Nest Friday 5th November, 2021.

This was a very busy week, too busy.  I had several appointments in town and they all needed attending.  They were worth it but four days out really doesn't work for me with this much garden and this many animals!  Stuff just gets away from me!   So it is really nice to arrive at the end of the week and appreciate the good bits.  And there were lots of good bits!

I continued to pick flowers including some Lavender from Mum's garden.

Some of my flowers are quite dry now so I am going to begin making up posies and packaging them.

I used some lemons to make lemon cleaning vinegar and vodka.  Neither of us are ever going to drink vodka so I decided to make some lemon extract and some for cleaning.

I met up with Wendy (The Nesting Hen) and she had beautiful ginghams for me!   I love gingham.  Also some lovely bottles, some pale pink waffle weave fabric... I already have plans for that!   That same day I checked out two op shops and had great luck.   For the baby boys I found fantastic farm animals...

Also some beautiful crushed blue velvet,  very old cake tins( that are small/narrow just right to make fig and quince paste in.)   Plus a whole heap of as new cook books.  

I think I got six or seven,  they all went straight into the gift cupboard.   The most expensive one was $2.50 but most were $2.   A Cath Kidston bag.  A pure silk scarf with tags on!  From the New York museum!  Into the gift cupboard... ($1) A flannelette sheet with horses all over it... perfect for kids hankies and wash cloths.

I planted Calendula seeds.   The idea is to grow it and harvest the flowers for soap making and lotions.

We put nets over the big old fruit trees.   I waited for all the fruit to set.  The apples are formed...

With the frames we built the job wasn't too bad.  It was making them truly bird proof that took time.   Every hole was blocked!  Andy used the tractor to put big fence posts down, to lay on the netting to keep it from blowing in the wind.

Now I will keep the water up to them and hope the fruit matures!

At the chemist they had a deal where you got a bag of products with $39 spend on several brands.  One of those brands was a vitamin we use and they were half price.  So I grabbed those on this good deal.  The bag had so much in it... full size liquid hand soap, toothpaste,  moisturisers, lip balm, baby shampoo, hand cream,  so much!  Some things from this also went into the gift cupboard.  Most went into the supplies cupboard.

I did a trade and ended up with 20 kilos of dry dog food.  This will be very good for emergencies.

At the post office they had a whole table of books out for $5 each.  I went through them and got ten more books for the present cupboard.   There were very good childrens books and activities. 

So it was the week of book deals!  Here at least books are now very expensive. It is nothing for a cook book to be $50 - $75.  A regular book to be $30...    so this is the way to put some books away for gifts.

My ambition for the weekend is a sleep in!    I am grateful for all the opportunities to get ahead here and there.   In regard to the farm and talking with locals etc we are seeing supply issues on everything.   What ever you go to do there are delays,  wait lists...  vehicles, machinery, parts, you name it.   If you have important parts/supplies you need act now. 

Today I baked a ham and made a big rice salad.  Tomorrow I am calling it a day off cooking as this is just the weather for cold meat and salads.  We love that.   When I get to the end of the ham I will chop up bits and make a couple of big Quiches and use up some eggs and spinach from the garden.    

I hope you had a good week and found ways to build up your home, pantry, garden...     Thinking of the pantry I know I have apples that need using, more lemons and tomatoes.   I will see what I can do with them before the weekend is over.  xxx


  1. You deserve a restful weekend after the week you have had. That will be our week next week with appointments most days. It must be done. Last week we needed a new gas cap for our van and it took hours to find one.

    We had a great week of freebies. I got four full size bags of coffee beans free and we got sixteen free food items using our iBotta apps. I am thankful for those items for our pantry.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      It is getting complicated to get even simple items. There are things we never consider until there's a need for it like your gas cap!
      What a great week of freebies. I am hearing so much about iBotta and the free Thanksgiving dinner. I wish we had such a thing it sounds fantastic! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. This seems to be an exhausting time of year for all of us… you in Australia and me in the US. Every day this week we had four doctor appointments, plus things happening around the house. We are getting our house exterior painted so there was a lot of noise from stucco scraping and repair and power washing going on. More today…with painting happening next week. Then it will be good for another ten years! The painter said paint prices have increased four times this year already. Also, large pieces of plywood normally are $9, went as high as $50, and are now down to $38 but there is none available. Craziness for sure. Lucky we don’t need wood ;)

    1. Dear Traveling Oltmans, The wood shortage is an issue here also. It will be lovely having your painting done. Nothing is as good as fresh paint! It must have been the week of appointments! It sure takes up a lot of time with extra things like these in our days. I am aiming to have no appointments this week! Have a lovely Sunday, I am having a quieter planning day! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. You still got so much done in your busy week Annabel! The kids books are a great find, and you’re right about cookbooks - crazy expensive! My comment last week must have got lost, I loved the bottles of vanilla extract you made and was wondering what the ratio of vanilla beans to vodka you use please?

    I had several appointments this week too, it really makes me cherish my home days! I felt the need to get some lingering jobs out of the way, and managed to remove some wooden doors we don’t need and a couch we no longer want. This felt so good. And both places we took them were pleased to receive them.

    I’ve continued to sell things we don’t need and made another $400. I’m so pleased. So our emergency fund is now complete. I think I will do one more round of sales and put the funds towards school uniforms for next year.

    I hope you enjoy your sleep in and maybe a bit more of a relaxing weekend!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, I am sorry about your comment. Thanks for persisting this week! I think my initial bottles were 250mls and I used 4 beans. They stayed like that for about 6 months... getting a shake often. They went a nice dark brown... they can keep getting stronger still. So given beans are not cheap (Chloe gave me a bundle for my Birthday!) I went less beans and longer time... but more is more if you have them. Then if you look in the Supermarket and take note of the size of the bottles these sizes are good to decant the final product into. You know those little bottles they have in motels of spirits? Essence bottles... get everyone to save those bottles!
      Well done on your sales! That is a great budget boost, especially this time of year! Great to have your emergency fund topped up. If you could be ahead with uniforms that would be fantastic too.
      Ive had a very laying low weekend. I was wiped out! Yes going out like this makes us appreciate how much more we get done at home but sometimes we just have to get our appointments and errands done. Have a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. My goodness Annabel you certainly deserve your sleep in. Your op shop buys are amazing. Books here cost about the same. I sometimes use book depository. I used it a lot when my friends children were young and they lived in Switzerland. It was much cheaper with free postage than to send a gift from NZ. We are having a quiet weekend here also. I am starting to get tired now as we near the end of the year. We have our anniversary weekend here next Friday and I have also taken the Monday off, which should see me through to our last day on the 23 December. Today I will be planting some tomatoes, making some gf quiches and a little housework. Other than that not too much else. One thing that has been absent on our supermarket shelves are prunes, much to my partners disappointment, he loves them. That is just a small thing, so yes I think the coming year is going to be very tough indeed, on many fronts. Thank goodness we all know how to prepare for this the best we can. Wonderful news about little Cleo this week to. A bright spot amongst everything.
    Have a good week everyone and stay safe and well.


    1. Dear Mandy,
      These crazy book prices have really make me a better book spotter. Good gifts!
      Today I have been doing an online supermarket order. Even though I have been forecasting it I am shocked and a bit upset about the number of things now unavailable or sold out. Turkeys finally came in... any shape, size, type are all sold out. Same with hams. Then many other things... I think ok... we are getting closer to Christmas... more demand... I will get what I can get. And I am grateful we can still get enough. But we need to keep a pretty close eye on this.
      Have a wonderful anniversary. Your planting and quiches sound like a nice plan. With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Annabel you found so many wonderful treasures in your Op shop trawl. Well done you. All your hard work is starting to pay off. The frames over the trees are now holding the nets. Wont be long and you will have a tonne of fruit waiting for you to preserve it.
    Our week has been busy as we are on the final leg of our journey to get the house set up for our son and his family to move in with us. Bluey has been adding wheels to the base of furniture to make the pieces easier to move around. This has helped tremendously. It means I can move some very large pieces myself, without help and without damaging the tiled floor. The toys have come out of the shed and the boxes have been filled with water and dish soap, to give them a good clean. They are now in the toy boxes on the veranda or in the little girls bedroom.
    As I was doing this I found a net bag of toys I bought some time back full of farm animals, and farm bits. Bluey had fun playing with this. You can take the boy off the farm but you cant take the farm out of the boy. I can see Bluey and the little girls playing together with this set. We shall have to call it Old MacBluey Had a Farm.
    I am finishing off a quilted Christmas wall hanging. I am sewing on some Christmas redwork embroideries that I hand embroidered earlier this year and late last year. It's coming together rather nicely.
    I finished off a crochet set of the three pigs and the big bad wolf, with a little house bag, for Spencer to Christmas. The little girls will be able to tell him the story with the toys. Spencer has grown so much that the change mat I made to go in the nappy bag, is now too small for him. Katie has requested a larger one. The request has been filled.
    I potted up three agaves for Katie. She and Jared are adding a drought tolerant garden out the front and asked if I could do this. I have a number of these so it was no problem.
    Bluey is adding towel rails to the bathroom right now. With out heat and humidity in the summer, a towel rail each is a requirement. Towels not aired out end up mould covered very quickly.
    Have a wonderful week. Life is busy but good.

    1. Dear Jane, You have done so much to get ready! It is exciting how the family are arriving all in time for Christmas. The toys all ready will be great fun for the girls. Having the beach so close by is going to be fantastic.
      I loved the quilt and amazed what you have got done even with re arranging the house!
      The Agaves look spectacular and are so tough. I really like them.
      You are a big help to everyone. The towel rails are a good idea, not having enough things stay damp as you say. Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. I come to the end of another week of babysitting. I must be getting accustomed to it because I have had energy enough to do an hour or more of work after he leaves each day this week. I've slept incredibly well!

    Knowing we were heading into frosty weather (or so they said now they have changed forecast), I cut a few last flowers for my kitchen window. It gives me great pleasure to see those flowers as I stand at my sink.

    Defrosted the freezer this week and rearranged it better. It now appears to be only half filled. Funny how just shifting a few things around can create so much more space. Now to fill it up once again. I am always intrigued to see how God will help me to do this.

    A busy week behind and a busy weekend ahead.

    1. Dear Terri, If you have spare energy after babysitting I think you are doing really well!
      It is lovely to bring in the flowers and enjoy them. I adore flowers and they do add happiness to the house.
      When I re organise the freezers or pantry I always end up with new space and a shock that it is not as full as I thought! I hope you are blessed with all kinds of ways to fill those gaps! Have a great new week. With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Your tree nets look so professional, Annabel! Last year the birds were quickly on to the plums on our two trees, so we hauled some netting over each one, but didn't have frames. We just gathered up the edges and fastened them around the trunks, taking ages to check for holes. To be honest, I imagined that actually picking the fruit would be a bit of a nightmare, fighting my way in, but it turned out that we just shook the tree and the ripe plums obligingly fell down and rolled along the creases in the net to the base, where we could let them out into a bucket. It was most entertaining - sort of like a giant pinball game!
    Enjoy your weekend.

    Linda in NZ

    1. Dear Linda,
      I am pleased the nets look tidy. Last time I did them they completely failed and looked messy! So this is much better.
      Thanks for sharing how you did the nets and picked the plums! I am checking the pears every day watching their progress! And watering them well. Have a very good new week. With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Annabel glad you have your fruit trees all netted and hopefully will get more fruit this season rather than the birds gobbling lots of them :) . You did so well at the op shops with the books, cake tins and fabric as well as finding a great sale on children's activity books at the post office. The flowers are beautiful that you have drying and the lavender will come in so handy.

    We are also seeing patchy grocery stock in the stores amongst as you say machinery parts so yes would be wise for us to prepare ahead and get the things we use in our homes when we see them :) .

    Interesting reading in multiple news reports that China has asked it's people to stockpile essentials ahead of time and panic buying has ensued. More possible shortages to come here and other places I think or perhaps they are preparing for something else ?. With one of multiple news reports found here -

    https://www.newsweek.com/china-tells-citizens-stock-supplies-prompting-panic-buying-fears-war-1645949 .

    And another interesting article on rising world food prices found here - https://news.yahoo.com/un-says-world-food-prices-153230104.html .

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $95.79 in savings last week :) .

    Purchases -
    - Saved 4c per litre or $3.75 by by using or rewards fuel voucher when filling up with fuel.
    - Bought a new Sunbeam DT600 food dehydrator and saved $10 by paying cash and negotiating prices.

    In the kitchen -

    - Dehydrated 4 dozen eggs that I picked up for $2.50 per dozen on sale saving $40.56 over buying commercially dehydrated eggs. The home dehydrated ones I use half the amount of as the commercial ones have the natural sugars removed and I think perhaps other things like some fat too. I will use them for baking and found them to be really good and fantastic they are shelf staple for around 12 months with an oxygen absorber in the bottle as long as they are kept in a cool area.
    - Made 3 loaves of bread in the bread making machine saving $10.47 over buying them locally.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Blanched and froze silverbeet picked from the gardens and put them in meal sized portions in the freezer.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 6 1/3 bunches of silverbeet from the gardens saving $31.01 over purchasing them in the supermarkets.
    - Replanted some more turnip and carrot seedlings in one garden beds after they were eaten by slugs and snails. While we were at it we got rid of all the snails and slugs we found both in and around the garden beds. Happy to say they are all sprouting happily and haven't been eaten this time :) .

    Have a great week ahead everyone :) .


    1. Dear Lorna,
      I saw this about China. Also I am heating so much re gas, fuel.. I am thankful not to have to worry about sub zero temperatures. Food prices, shortages and the cold are just a terrible combination...
      Today I am ordering from Woolworths online. This is the first time I have seen a significant amount of things listed as unavailable or sold out. Turkey finally came in... all gone in any shape of from... same with hams. But each category I have searched have had missing things and well even though I knew this was coming I still felt shocked!
      The food dehydrator will be great! I had cherry tomatoes in mine and soon I am hoping to have lots of harvests to put through it.
      I have never dehydrated eggs. That is fantastic. I need to follow you also on the silverbeet. I will be harvesting some and putting into impossible pies this week. Your bread is a good saving and it would be much better bread. The prices of even bread now amaze me!
      Have a very good new week. With love, Annabel.xxx

  9. I love those fruit tree frames, they are wonderful! any plans?

    1. Hi Alison, the tree frames are poly pipe which is plastic irrigation pipe. Four droppers/stakes into the ground with a couple of feet sticking out... the poly pipe is hollow and you slide that over the pipe and make an arch. That is fun trying to cut it the right length as its bit of a guess. So two like this crossing over each other. We used a long bit of timber under the arches to support them a bit. This all was after a lot of pruning to even make it possible as the trees were so big to start with! Now to hope this all works! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Sounds like times are busy for everyone at the moment! It's good that during the busy-ness we are able to get ahead. I have tried posting a comment the last couple of weeks, but I'm not sure why they're not working. We finally got to catch up with family this weekend after nearly six months! It was lovely to see my mum and my sister! Spring in the garden is well underway here, although many of our fruit trees have no fruit. We had plenty of flowers a couple of months ago so I wonder if one of the many storms just took away any budding fruit. Very disappointing. Otherwise, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, zucchini and cucumbers are all taking off. I even have a couple of pumpkins sprouting from under the compost (these are the best ones, I reckon!)
    I love the beautiful gingham that you got Annabel, and great work on the books for the gift cupboard. I'll have to pop by my post office and see what they have!
    Take care and have a great week. Not sure if you're getting these big thunderstorms in SA but it's pretty wet and wild here in the ACT.

    Kirsty x

    1. Dear Kirsty, Thanks for persisting with comments and Im sorry something went wrong. Seriously there are some mysteries at times..
      I am so glad you got to see family. Six months is a long time. It looks now like a lot of storms are over Australia but we are so far south of everything.
      Over time I have found many amazing deals at the post office. Im in there often as a lot of our mail waits for us to be picked up. So I always check and they almost always have some kind of bargain bin. I have really got so many deals this way!
      Your garden sounds like it is going to be good! I have the same things in!
      Hope your new week is off to a great start. With love Annabel.xxx

  11. Sounds like times are busy for everyone at the moment! It's good that during the busy-ness we are able to get ahead. I have tried posting a comment the last couple of weeks, but I'm not sure why they're not working. We finally got to catch up with family this weekend after nearly six months! It was lovely to see my mum and my sister! Spring in the garden is well underway here, although many of our fruit trees have no fruit. We had plenty of flowers a couple of months ago so I wonder if one of the many storms just took away any budding fruit. Very disappointing. Otherwise, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, zucchini and cucumbers are all taking off. I even have a couple of pumpkins sprouting from under the compost (these are the best ones, I reckon!)
    I love the beautiful gingham that you got Annabel, and great work on the books for the gift cupboard. I'll have to pop by my post office and see what they have!
    Take care and have a great week. Not sure if you're getting these big thunderstorms in SA but it's pretty wet and wild here in the ACT.

    Kirsty x

  12. Annabel yes the sub zero temperatures, food shortages and shortages are a bad combo for sure. Was thinking Taiwan in this scenario, wink.

    Know what the sub zero temperatures are like and remember the first year we moved here in the area into rental it was -11 oc winter and a 45 oc summer. We had no firewood but bought sub zero sleeping bags you could walk around in.

    Yes noticed the shortages at Woolworths which are dramatic at the moment. We are stocking up a lot in stores each time we go out. Shopping between a few stores we are getting what we need to fill in the gaps.

    Looking at learning to dehydrate more things now we have purchased a new one.

    The prices are certainly rising on groceries big time and hope you get what you need in your online order.



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