Feather your Nest Friday, 21st January, 2022.

It has been pretty warm here which must seem crazy to so many of you living in freezing conditions right now!  We have both extremes!  But we all have the same thing... shelter inside when the weather is bad and go with the season we are in.  

For me this means trying to do a lot of the watering and animals before the hottest part of the day.   I have made a mental chart of my yard and animals and I try to conquer one zone at a time!   I am always glad to get as many as possible done before midday.   In the late afternoon I get back to outdoor areas.  In the middle I try and work in the cool as much as I can.

The working in the cool part is lovely.   I worked on crochet in the evenings.    This photo shows a hand towel and matching face washer Mum made me for my birthday plus shower puffs I have been making.

Inspired by Mum's hand towels I decided to start making some.

I worked an edge on it.  I have made a couple more and am addicted to making them now!

Also I wrapped some lovely pink Dove soaps.  These smell beautiful.    Into my gift cupboard!   Because of my big clean up of the craft room I had a box of all kinds of hardware, brooches and bling to use.  The velvet ribbon was an op shop find. 

We had two guys staying in the cabin.  They arrived with fantastic fresh produce for me.    Last week I had said how one thing I could not get at all was a lettuce.   As the box came toward me the first thing I saw was a great big lettuce on top!  Gold!  

These guys are so nice, they even brought me Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits as they know these are what my cows and sheep like!!  

This was all so beautiful.  Our meals were based around this box all week.

I knew I needed to get to work on produce I had and decided to tackle at least one thing per day.

Monday I juiced 17 lemons.   
Tuesday I juiced 24 oranges.

I froze these.  I always like to keep fruit juices on hand as I like to make my own electrolytes.  The shop ones we have all seem to contain artificial sweeteners which we avoid.  So pure natural juice ready to go and cold too is a must for me.  

Wednesday I used up a heap of Basil in a batch of Pesto.   I gave some to Chloe also.  Some of it went into Pesto Chicken which is only chicken, pesto and cream... but it is delicious!

All the stems of the Basil are in water as in the windowsill they will grow roots and I should get about 20 new plants this way. 

Thursday I put a tray of Cherry Tomatoes into the dehydrator.

Today I stewed Nectarines as they are getting away from me.   

I picked heaps of tomatoes again and have 7 dozen eggs from this week!  

Chloe was going over to see Mum so I sent some scones and a jar of Apricot jam.

So just like with a little bit of sewing each day gets so much done, a bit of time on produce every day really made a dent in what I had to preserve.   I have apples coming in soon so I want to be caught up and ready.   Bananas are next on the list...

How did you build up your home this week?  Were you able to add to your pantry or supplies?  Are you seeing shortages in your area?  Be very very watchful.  👀.  Take every opportunity to get ahead a little bit! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel,
    You had a very productive week, for sure. Your 'do a little at a time,' is a huge inspiration for me right now. The pictures you post are lovely and enticing. Whatever you do ends up looking so attractive and showing the care you put into it.
    I wish I had a long list of accomplishments for this week, but not much got done. I have a lot to do, but am not feeling up to par, so not much was accomplished.
    I did work on a dress I am making, rearranged the baking shelves and pantry in the kitchen, wrote a few letters, cleaned out the refrigerator, cooked and pondered more than anything. I always feel very badly about accomplishing so little each day when I see how much needs done.
    Our new dryer was making an irritating noise like some thing was in the drum as it was going around. We had the serviceman out and a fan blade is broken. Quality appears to be a thing of the past.
    Wishing all of the Bluebirds a wonderful and blessed weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I was daunted by the lemons and oranges and knew I needed to act fast. I also wasnt well and I even took a covid test but it came back negative. So I really broke things down into small bites and rested in between. I am glad your dryer was fixed! That is bad happening in a new machine!
      Thank you for your kind comments. I am doing the same today... lots of little bits as it is pretty hot today! Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Nice of the guys to bring such lovely produce. You have so much produce now - makes one envious in these super cold temps we are having. Our day will come! Actually went shopping for the first time this year, on yesterday. Supplies were in pretty good shape and with a hole here and there - but I can't complain. The store much better than it did during holiday rush. Have a great weekend.

    1. Dear Cheryl, This gets to be a really busy time as soon the apples and produce in larger amounts comes in. By the end of that I am always ready for Autumn! I am glad your stores are doing pretty well. We can make so and substitute for sure. I am grateful we have stuff even if it is not what we normally buy. We can still do well. Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabelxxx

  3. As always I look forward to your posts and do enjoy them. May I ask please how you store the orange juice?

    1. Dear Diana, I freeze mine but you could also bottle/waterbath can it. I allow headspace for expansion and keep a row of bottles of fruit juice on the inside door or my freezer. Some frozen water too. If the power goes out we will always have cold drinks. Hope this helps. Love Annabel.xxx

  4. There is no nicer gift than produce! It is so cold here that I cannot imagine hot weather. We started the week with ten inches of snow and it is almost melted off now. We always keep 100% orange juice here but it has gotten so expensive so I put on my thinking cap and thought to check frozen concentrate and the price has not gone up on that. Years ago we always bought the frozen and got away from it which was okay until now. We were able to get a whole case for the freezer yesterday. The more I look at the grocery ads and what is missing I see that we have gotten so used to paying for convenience that we don't even realize how expensive it is. We are going back to old ways even though we had not strayed as far as many.

    Our sick baby grandson went home from the hospital on Sunday and is doing well. We are so thankful.

    1. Dear Lana,
      I cant imagine snow either. I have never lived anywhere there has been snow. Winter is a time of green and summer is dry. I saw there is a very low Orange/citrus crop in the US and prices rising. I would get hold of any oranges you can where they are in season. I am so happy to hear your Grandson is doing better. That must have been such a worry for you. I hope he continues to improve. With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Wow. What beautiful produce and your soaps and crochet work are just gorgeous. Your juices and that plate look delicious! I see so many tips and ideas in your post I can't wait to use! We are in the middle of a cold snap (low 30's at night for us is cold) so after catching up with some necessary medical tests and appointments we are happy to be inside. We are making it a point to keep up with all medical and dental work so if need be we can just stay put. Covid or the new strain is rampant here. My daughter and two granddaughters who are nurses are just about run ragged. One of my granddaughters is already out with the virus (along with several other family members) but thankfully she has not been that sick. Some schools are shutting down and businesses don't have enough workers and I know we are not unique with those issues. Hopefully the virus will run its course and we can get back to a semblance of normal before very long - and before the entire world economy is destroyed.
    I continue to replace pantry items as I use them. Many shelves at our Walmart were looking pretty bare yesterday. I found pork ribs on sale so we are having those today along with baked half potatoes, fresh broccoli and hot rolls. Pineapple upside down cake is also on the menu.
    We have one new baby chick. Since I put a light in the chicken pen we are getting 5 to 6 eggs everyday which is about all I can keep up with. I saved okra and zinnia seeds this week. Spring and planting time can't come too soon for me! It's good to be back and catching up with everyone. I wish you a happy, productive week, Bluebirds!

    1. Dear Pam, Thank you! I am sorry your Granddaughter is sick but glad it is not too severe. You would hear a lot with three nurses in the family!
      I have no idea how the world economy is still afloat. Just every aspect has been shut down or affected in some way. It is lovely you got a chick! Also that you are getting eggs every day. I can see you will be happy to make it to Spring! I think you are sensible with the appointments. Pork ribs sound good, I am glad you still found a good deal at the store! Have a lovely weekend! With love, Annabel.xxx

  6. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    What beautiful produce and crocheting, Annabel! Your baking looks really nice, too.

    It has been a pretty quiet week here; we are both working from home and I have been cooking extra to stay ahead and have something good for our lunches each day. Yesterday I made a batch of brownies for a treat. Our weather has been very cold and it is wonderful to take a break in the middle of the day to have a hot lunch together. I was able to find some canned fruit to replenish my pantry, so purchased an amount that we will use. Otherwise, no shopping was needed. I did wash our linens and soft furnishings, but mainly we have just been enjoying movie dates at home and reading books from our home library - I've done some knitting and stitching to manage anxiety and hopefully make some pretty things for our home. My dad's birthday is next week and I stitched a tiny cupcake to put on his birthday card, and made some things for him to put in his freezer as a surprise. Not the most accomplished of weeks, but just trying to stay ahead and stay positive - and warm!

    I hope everyone has a great weekend. <3

    1. Dear Kathy,
      I think a hot lunch on a cold day is really lovely. I think the cooking for your Dad is a wonderful gift. It will be so nice for him to have good food in the freezer. I think he will love it!
      Knitting and stitching are so good for keeping anxiety down a bit. I feel this very much, my busy evenings with crochet are really enjoyable for me and I know it relaxes me. Win win!
      Good that you built up your pantry with the tinned fruit. Enjoy a warm and relaxing g weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,

    I wholeheartedly agree with Glenda's first paragraph! You are definitely in the busy food preserving season. Right now I am loving the "holidays" of January and February! The only downer is that my left hand is bothering me...I'm thinking it's carpal tunnel, now at a stage that I think I'd better consult a doctor, as I am concerned about gardening season (which is when it started bothering me, last August). I am taking my crafting easy...stopping if my hand gets bad and moving on to a different craft, or even reading a book! (Such luxury...ha, ha.) I have been busy cleaning, here...our company is gone and the house always seems to me to need a big "spring" clean just as soon as the Christmas holidays are over. I'm doing it bit by bit, though, just like your sewing. I'm hoping to get my sewing machines down to be serviced on Monday, depending on the weather. He tells me he can do them "while I wait", as we are about 2 hours away, and that way I won't have to make a return trip to pick them up, which is really great. Here's hoping, as machine sewing doesn't really bother my hand!

    I made two scrubbies, which are so cute, finished a pair of socks, and started a crocheted triangular scarf. I also spent the day yesterday trying to perfect bagels, which involved more than one batch and more than one technique...I have lots of willing "guinea pigs" around here to try the results for breakfasts! It was a fun way to spend the day.

    Oh, I ordered my seeds week before last, and some have started arriving already, so I'm feeling good about that task being accomplished.

    I guess I'd better finish the regular Friday house cleaning. Hope you have a great weekend!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      It may sound crazy but try a chiropractor. Mum and I both know people with carpal tunnel... or they thought carpal tunnel.. that were fixed at the chiropractor. One was booked for surgery and at the Chiro for something else entirely but the chiropractor asked if they had wrist pain because of something he felt in their shoulder. Long story cut short... that person luckily never had the surgery. My chiropractor tells me he has several patients who come after carpal tunnel surgery didnt work and they find the solution... so the surgery was a waste of time. So look into it. Whatever way I hope you get relief. We cannot have you slowed down on the knitting and needlework!
      You achieved a lot even with house guests! And you made scrubbies! :)
      It is great to get your sewing machines serviced while in town. Also lovely to have seeds coming in and start dreaming of your spring garden! Have a restful weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Jen, it has been a long time since I had carpal tunnel, but as I recall it affects the thumb and forefinger and results in that pins and needles sensation, and sometimes total numbness (like it's dead and not even there). The ulner nerve, which is located near the elbow, results in the same sensations in the last 3 fingers. If it is painful at the base of the thumb and sometimes spreads across the base of the hand (just below the wrist), it is probably basal thumb osteoarthritis. This is an achy feeling that can hurt a lot, but not pins and needles. I had surgery for carpal tunnel on both hands and ulner nerve on right hand. I had to have tests on both hands for the surgery to be authorized. It wasn't just the doc saying I had it. Arthritis shows up on Xrays.

      Basal thumb arthritis is very common--and very painful. There is a surgery, but it has a very long recovery and doesn't make your thumb "as good as new." Kind of fused to the other fingers. For me, the pain ebbs and flows, comes and goes. Right now, it's just kind of achy only in the thumb only. I have gotten the most relief from swimming, especially when I cup my hands.

      Now, Glenda...it sounds to me like you got a lot done. As someone who moves at the rate of an arthritic slug--and a messy one at that--I know how overwhelming housework can be. I, too, have recently discovered how much can be accomplished in short bursts...but there's a story. In the last 3 weeks, I have become addicted to Words with Friends (an online Scrabble game where you play with real people). I have 6-7 games going at once. This was also the period when I resolved to declutter my whole house. So what I've done is play for awhile, take a break to declutter, play some more, declutter some more, etc. In 3 weeks my house is almost completely dejunked and--guess what--I cleaned it at the same time! I discovered that once you attack the worst of it, the rest just naturally follows. Everything was done in 10-20 minute bursts. I couldn't even see the top of my desk for all of the paper piles. Once I dealt with those, I just went around the perimeter of the room and, in about two days, it was done. Ditto my bedroom, which had become the dumping ground for the whole house. Once the top of the dresser was clean, I worked my way around the room, picking up and putting away.

      Beautiful crochet, Annabel!

    3. Dear Annabel,

      Thanks for the tip...I'd never heard of a chiropractor treating carpal tunnel, but I don't know that much about chiropractors, so that's not saying much. :) I would think trying something else before surgery as an option would be the best route, for sure!

      Love, Jen

    4. Jen this is Patti from Diego when I had Carroll tunnel I wore hand braces at night when sleeping. It looks like a big stretchy sleeve about 19 to 12 inches that have a plastic or metal brace that slides in to support wrists during sleeping. Try Google. Then less repetitive movements. Like typing o r knitting do to in many small times. Proper posture when typing. Foam rolling also helped me. Google foam rolling for Carole tunnel. I do have to have surgery and am much better.💕

    5. Thank you to everyone's great suggestions! I really appreciate it! xx Jen

    6. Dear Patti, Thank you for sharing that information. I havent had it, I had tennis elbow (despite no tennis!) and strapping and support really helped with that. I am very happy to hear you are much better! I am thinking of you! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Hi, testing to see if I post from my laptop, will the post go through...I have had no luck from my iPad.

    1. Its working! Thank you for trying again! xxx

  9. Dear Annabel, my comment on your last post seems to have not gone through - so Happy Belated Birthday! I love the early mornings here at the moment too. I open all our windows to let the cooler air through before it starts heating up. I have been very busy with house guests and feel a bit like Glenda above, seeing so much to be done but not quite getting to it. I will catch up soon I am sure. My sister who stayed this week had gotten some lovely napkins outside a house who had posted "free stuff" on facebook. She made a really beautiful drawstring bag to put their laundry in when they stay away with them, I thought it was really clever. I had a great opp shop find of an off the grid living book. It has a lot of good information in it. One idea, I had never heard about was "Shrubs". Which is e a drink made of Vinegar and fruits and herbs. You can use them like cordial, in mocktails/cocktails or over iceream or fruit. If made with apple cider vinegar and good combination of fruits and herbs they can be a really healthy drink. Shrubs started as a way to preserve fruits and herbs and were used like medicines in pioneering days in America. I love learning new things like this. I was then inspired to look up how to make my own vinegar. I would love to get around to making both Shrubs and my own Vinegar. Has any of the bluebirds heard of Shrubs? Does anyone make them? Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      I love how your sister got those napkins! And that she could make something so nice with them! It sounds like you had a lovely time together!
      I feel I have heard of shrubs. I will ask Mum... They would be very healthy. I think of things like Lemon Barely Water, iced teas too.. that were the drinks of the hot weather. I think this is a good subject to look into further. With the heat, no cooling... drinks were meant to be restorative as well as hydrating. There is another called Switchel? It has honey in it I think... I will go search on this. Pre ready made electrolyte drinks... but if we made these I think they would be much healthier.
      The book you found sounds very interesting and I love to learn new things we can do.
      It is a busy time of year... the house gets away from me a bit when it is really hot and fruit is also coming in etc.
      Have a lovely weekend and new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. I love the idea of the frozen fruit juice. Francis cuts oranges up into segments, with the skin still on, and freezes them. The little girls love Daddy's orange iceblocks. They are a regular request for morning tea. My green banana pancakes are a regular request for Saturday morning breakfast. It's just normal pancake mix, no sugar, with a good handful of spinach leaves and an overripe banana blended into the mix.
    We have had hot and humid weather here. It is absolutely glorious beach weather. The trouble is that our beaches are still getting covered in all the flood run off from two weeks ago. Our Council is making sure there is a clean up done on the beaches every morning. Our usually clear water is still quite cloudy. We are hoping that in another week we will be back to being able to swim once again. Until then the little girls have been in and out of the wading pool all day. It is on the veranda so they are not getting too much sun.
    I have been on Granny mending duty this week. I have made adjustments to Tilly's school uniform skorts. I took the elastic in a huge amount of them. The size smaller was too small, so this larger size was the only option. She is happy with what I have done. I also made her some hair scrunchies the same green as her uniform shirt. I will make a couple more over the weekend. Maddy had three dresses where the strap over the shoulder had parted company with the bodice. These were all repaired. Matilda, Tilly, asked me why I wasnt teaching anymore. I told her I was now a pensioner. She told me that I was now a Sewing Pensioner Granny. That is a pretty good title.
    Bluey has had a letter giving him the date for his operation at the end of Feb. Until then we are isolating as much as we can. We need him to be as healthy as he can be for the operation. He has been told that he will have a 4-5 day stay in the hospital, post op.
    I need to give the garden a really good soak today. I must go and move the hose again. Take care all.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      The orange iceblocks and the very healthy pancakes sound so good. I hope the beach is soon back to its normal self. The wading pool is a good back up option. The girls must be having so much fun.
      It is beautiful work getting the new school uniform ready to wear in the lead up to a new school! And the repairs too... getting clothes back into circulation again.
      I think it is very good to have a date scheduled for surgery now and to work towards. You can plan accordingly. Life sounds busy but good busy! With much love, Annabel.xxx

  11. What a lovely productive week! And that fresh produce box, what a thoughtful gift. Your knitting is beautiful. I'm working on a knitting project now- squares for a blanket for the children of a friend who recently passed away. I have until the end of February to finish them, so I'll have to figure out how to budget my time so I can work on them mainly when my daughter is at school- hard to do all that counting when she's talking and asking questions! :)

    The store shelves at my Aldi here in the Chicago suburbs look pretty terrible. Fortunately, it's usually 'extras' that are out- things like chips and cookies, popsicles and the like. We eat a fairly simple diet, so I haven't found anything that I absolutely couldn't get (I did have to buy coffee creamer at a different store, however!). I can't speak to our Walmart, because the shelves there were always understocked, even pre-pandemic, so it's hard to tell. I'm sticking with our usual simple cooking, though; it's served us well so far! :) Have a great week!

    1. Dear Stephanie,
      Well this week has flown by! The blanket you are working on will be a wonderful gift. When the girls were at school I was a late night sewer and knitter. Even when waiting for them to come out from school I would be working on something!
      Thanks for your report on Chicago. It is for sure good to be cooking from basics. Basics give you so many options. I am seeing a lot of posts on social media re Walmart and other stores. I am trying to be ahead on all the basic ingredients we use... I dont buy boxed type foods much either. Skills get us through and are very good to have! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Dear Annabel,

    Lovely post as usual, you always achieve so much in a week.

    What a lovely box of fruit and veggies! Oh and bikkies for the animal family, so thoughtful of your guests.

    I love those pretty hand towels, think I might have to try and make some of those. The shower puffs are pretty cute also.

    I juice our excess mandarins and freeze for later. Comes in handy when out of season, we can still get our vitamin C. I love the bright orange colour of your juice, looks so healthy!

    You have an abundance of tiny tomatoes! I like the idea of drying them. I don't get as many as you, but really would like to dry some.

    Your scones always look delicious!

    Here I am picking and stewing nectarines and giving them away left, right and centre!

    The grapes are almost ripe and the figs are coming along nicely too.

    I was gifted some yummy giant black figs, my oh my they are delicious! I must ask my friend for a piece of her tree to see if I can grow my own. The same friend gave me some grapes.

    From the veggie patch I am picking strawberries, capsicum, eggplant, silver beet, beetroot, tomatoes, zucchinis and cucumbers.

    I had opened preserved apricots to use up so I made a yummy cobbler.

    I have started crocheting another blanket, this one is for my little "bongo bus".

    I am decluttering my home at the moment. I have decided that I need to have a big cleanout so I can organise better.

    It is raining today, and it is so wonderful! We had 30mm {118pts} overnight, and still raining now. Happy, happy! It is very humid though so the veggies aren't going to like that too much, and I dislike sweating so much!

    Wishing you a wonderful productive week.

    God Bless you and yours,
    Love Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, The cherry tomatoes dry so well and dont take too long. I am loving them. I just did some more.
      You have had such a lot of beautiful produce! It is lovely to get figs! Have you seen the prices of figs in stores? They were $2 each in Adelaide!
      The humidity is killing me! I dont like it either! We did get some rain that is the upside.
      The week is almost over already! With much love Annabel.xxx

  13. As always, Annabel, you give us such lovely photos to enjoy! Congrats on the box of produce. And the crocheted items and scones are so lovely.

    We have been blessed with over 40 cans of soup and 20 cans of fruit juice. Thankfully the juice didn't have any sweeteners. Some of the soup was too high in sodium, so we'll bless some other family with them. I caught up on some much needed baking with the help of my 10 yr. old son!
    It was such a pleasure to work together. He was delighted to learn some more baking skills.

    I made a double batch of Peanut Butter Pumpkin bread. It is a very hearty quick bread that is not too peanutty. Great for breakfast & snacks. Also freezes well. We enjoyed homemade fudge with candy cane chunks. Yum! We love to save candy canes for Peppermint Bark after the holidays, but I think the fudge will replace it. ;)

    Though it is freezing here in Ohio, I still get 4-7 eggs daily. What a blessing to have our own hens!

    Blessings to you all,

    1. Dear Leslie, Thank you! Wow on the cans of soup and juice! Yes what you cant use will help someone else. Also some cans of soup I use in a casserole or to flavour a much larger pot of soup... in which case the sodium is way reduced.
      The bread sounds delicious! Peppermint Bark sounds good but so does Fudge!
      Your chooks are doing wonderfully to be still laying in this cold! It confuses me like how do they drink water when the bowl freezes? My mind boggles how to manage animals in freezing conditions as it is so foreign to us! Getting eggs every day is fantastic!
      The week has flown by! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Hello Annabel your crocheted hand towels and puffs as well as your bling wrapped soaps are divine :) . The oranges you juiced are so vibrant in colour and lovely scones you made for your Mum. What a lovely birthday gift from the heart you Mum gave you. So lovely you had a big box of produce from the guests staying in the cabin and what a blessing was it that there was a lettuce in there.

    We are noticing shortages in frozen vegetables, tinned fruits, meat, toilet paper and fresh veges in the local supermarkets. Generally there was gaps in all supermarket departments in every isle from what we noticed. I am shocked by the price of fruit and veg here at the moment and noticed one lady buy a what looked to be a quarter of a cauliflower for $4.45 and a pack of what appeared to be 3 cobs of sweet corn cut into thirds in Woolworths for $5.50 :o .

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $139.40 in savings last week :) .

    Finances -
    - We paid an extra part payment off our mortgage (paying slightly over double payments to date) and added more to our home maintenance and emergency fund.

    Purchases -
    - Saved $9.48 by buying preen and reusable shopping bags.
    - Bought 2.086 kg of shaved champagne leg ham and a 7.099kg whole rump (sliced free) from IGA on specials for $13.95 kg saving $119.45 on prices in other supermarkets. We have enough ham now to last us all the summer months for salads and baking.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 3 loaves of bread in the bread making machine saving $10.47.
    - We blanched and froze our 19 odd kg of sweet potato we purchased for $1.99 kg and filled up a freezer drawer in our 400lt vegetable freezer.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - We purchased more tinned fruits and organised them into smaller boxes so we can fit more on the shelves in the walk in pantry.

    In the gardens -
    - We trench composted one half of a garden bed with fruit and veg peelings, egg shells and old bean plant stalks as we are trying to improve the soil in there.
    - DH spade edged around the garden bed wire enclosure and fence line behind it and removed all the grass.
    - I fertilised the sweet corn and capsicum plants with urea and Seasol.
    - Also I mulched all the garden bed paths and surrounds with well composted grass clippings and also mulched the sweet corn.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :) .


    1. Dear Lorna,
      It has been a crazy week, here I am it is nearly Friday again! Thank you for reporting on the shortages you are seeing. It sounds very similar to here. The cauliflower is staggering. Your set up veggie garden is going to be saving you even more than you would ever have imagined! Ham is something we have had trouble getting. This week Andy found some and we have frozen some also. We really like some nights just cold meat and salads, especially the really hot days.
      I am envious of all that sew potato. I have never grown it. I am going to have a go but not sure about our climate...
      You got a lot done in the garden. Everything we can add helps. Also we are learning what does well in our locations... after three years I have had wins and losses... getting to know what works and what doesn't. Constantly trying to improve the soil too.
      I hope its been a good week, ours has been one of wild weather! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. Hi Annabel! Kim from Perth here (remember me?) just a request/suggestion! Could you write a noticeable request for everyone who comments to leave their location on their comment? I love checking here to see everyones experience with covid experience and hospitals and supermarkets etc but half the time I have no idea where the commenters actually live! 😅 thankyou for everything! Kim from Perth!

    1. Kim, good suggestion I will do that! A couple of the ladies this week left locations and yes it is very handy to know to put the picture together. As the week has almost passed... I can tell you here in SE SA the shortages have got worse not better. Woolies orders are time consuming trying to find things that are not listed as Unavailable or sold out, even the dialogue items. If you can buy covid tests get them as when we really needed them you couldn't get them... I will report more in tomorrows post. Love Annabel.xxx

  16. Annabel, you always make me feel home is such a wonderful place to be productive. I had a much more 'profitable' week this week in my home. It is cold here for us and has rained as well. I have been feeding birds and so enjoy watching them at the feeders. It's a luxury but one I am willing to budget for!
    My pantry/Freezer challenge for the month went very well. I had planned to save all my money but I instead used it to restock meats and add a few sales items to the pantry which had begun to look a bit slender to my eyes. Well it might look a bit slender since I've barely added to it these past two months! I've focused on holiday and meats.
    I hear of various shortages throughout the US but find in Georgia we're missing things like sausages both smoked and fresh of all sorts (turkey, chicken, pork, beef), juices, electrolyte drinks and cream cheese. That's the only store I've been in however, so can't say what I might find in any of the other four I'd typically go into each month.
    I've been thinking a lot over these past months, as I've kept my grandson, about projects I'd like to tackle. This week my schedule of sitting with grandson will change so I'll be able to start tackling things a little at a time. I'll build myself up to get to all those delayed tasks. Sewing, shopping I've needed to do, cleaning, gardening...I can't wait to get started!
    I believe at this time of year, I can put beets, parlsey, spinach, potatoes, lettuces and green peas in so I'd like to get some of these things planted if at all possible, in pots.

    1. I've heard there is a shortage of Philadelphia cream cheese, but not store brands. ??? I'm not sure how that works because if I were going to buy Philly, and there wasn't any, I'd buy the store brand.

      Kim from Perth, I am in northern Idaho USA. Idaho is that L-shaped state east of Oregon and Washington. I'm at the top of the L, about 100 miles south of Canada. It's the dead of winter here.

    2. Evening Annabel. It has been a little while since I commented but as always I read everyday. I love your hand towels, face cloth and shower puffs, they are so beautiful. The soaps are gorgeous. I must think of doing this with soaps at Christmas time. Even though we don't do traditional gift giving anymore we do give little things to one another and these would be lovely. I could do exactly what you are doing and look in our op shops for lovely paper and ribbons and do them during the year, so they are ready to go. Your juices look tempting too. What a great idea to make your own electrolyte replaces.
      We are due to go away to our happy place for a week in three weeks but it is looking in serious doubt. NZ has just gone to red in our traffic light system but the big issue being we would be staying in an area there is now omicron. I have no doubt it will be in Christchurch soon, if not already. It is about a 7-8 hour drive away and if we catch it we have to drive back without stopping on the way. Not sure it is a wise move. I have until Friday to cancel the booking without losing our refund. I suspect we won't be going. Work is underway for another year. The first couple of weeks back have passed quickly and been enjoyable.
      Yesterday we celebrated my mums' 80th Birthday. I spent Friday night putting up the decorations and dressing the sideboard. We went out for lunch and came back to our place for lunch. I had ordered a red velvet and raspberry cake from a lovely place her in the city. Usually I make my own but I really wanted a special one that was beautifully decorated. I have shaky hands and find fine motor things challenging and I didn't won't to muck it up. It was a shame I didn't have Chloe to help me. Her cakes would easily sell for the $70 I paid for mums. However it was a large and beautiful cake and I was thrilled with it and it is not something we do all the time. I had brought a beautiful bunch of flowers from a flower shop on the way home from work and it all came together beautifully. We had a lovely day together with family and friends.

      I am pleased to hear you have so far had no more fires. I hope you get rain to keep things from getting to dry.

      Your box of produce looks wonderful and how lovely they thought of the animals. They obviously appreciate and enjoy staying in your guest cabin


    3. Dear Mandy, Happy Birthday to your Mum! It was my Mums 80th on the 20th. A wonderful milestone. I am sorry if you had to cancel your holiday. You are sort of in the position were were around Christmas... omicron was approaching but not yet in our town. Once it made it to our town things changed almost over night.
      I am glad the working year has started off really well for you. Have a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

    4. Dear Terri, I would be feeding the birds too especially in the freezing weather. I am a bird nut so it goes without saying! If you can get all those veggies started it would be fantastic. Also I knew how much time babysitting was taking up and I would not be able to do so much as you I dont think! I hope you get little pockets of time toward your projects... I still do my 15 minutes on things as I can and it amazes me every time!
      Thank you also for reporting on your store. With love Annabel.xxx

  17. Dear Annabel, I really love the handtowel and face washer that your Mum made you. Your Mum is very talented. What a beautiful gift. You are making such lovely ones too. You have achieved so much. I love all that produce that you received- this is the best type of gift of all and especially at the moment. I really want to make pesto now, that looks like a delicious meal. I love your soaps and how you have presented them- they look straight out of a boutique. I will have to look into making our own electrolytes as we have a juicer, so I will look up to make this. Thank you for the tip. I was given some school shoes today, barely worn so that was lucky. I also found some books for 20c. I got some small plants planted into the ground today and made scones, and did some crocheting so that made for a restful day. Lots of love, Lily. Thank you for encouraging us all and for creating such a joyful 'place' in the world.

    1. Dear Lily, Thanks so much. If you would like to make Pesto look up A Tray of Bliss blog Pesto... soo easy and so beautiful. I used almonds. It is very enjoyable to make.
      Also for electrolytes I keep the ingredients... just look up home made electrolyte recipes... all much the same. I like to use Himalayan pink salt, fruit juice, water and honey.
      So good to get the school shoes! Also a lovely day getting some planting and crocheting done! With love Annabelxxx

  18. Hi I love the shower puffs can you point me to a pattern, Thanks

    1. Dear Chris, This is the one I used. It is very easy and fun to do... https://www.thestitchinmommy.com/2015/02/puffy-bath-pouf-free-pattern.html
      Also it is good as I am no good at reading a patten and even I can follow this. I hope this helps! Love Annabel.xxx

  19. Just lovely Annabel! I always admire your projects. I've been working on some preserving, making big batches of granola (another great pantry addition) and some medical preparedness. It has been a good week :)


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