Feather your Nest Friday, 25th Feb. 2022.

Each week I pretty much have the same goals,  they just get broken down into smaller goals,  that I can set for the next few days.  I wanted to keep going with my container garden,  manage the pears coming in, build up the pantry and garden as I can...   

I was blessed with two more chickens hatching this week.  This hen only hatched two chicks last time!  Two must be her speciality!   

When a hen goes broody and I give her eggs I write in my diary the date they are due to hatch.  This sees me on the last day with my ear pressed against the outside of the coop listening for "cheep cheep."   On Wednesday I could hear!  So then I lift the lid and have a look!    I waited an extra day for others to hatch but the hen gave up and so did I.  So two chicks it was.  These little guys are now eating a drinking and running around very happily.

They are completely tame as they don't know not to be.   I love them!

Some of the ways I got ahead, added to the garden and pantry included...

Mum gave me some jars,  meat for the dogs and scraps for the chooks.

I made Gluten free Melting Moments.  They were delicious... Mum liked them too.

I planted up another bucket of potatoes.

To get better at growing veggies in general I have been watching Hollis and Nancys Homestead.   They are so helpful!  I am getting so many tips!  Also a joy to watch.   Another good gardening you tube channel is Australian Self Sufficient Me.  He is funny and very good!    We need to DO and learn.  It is so exciting when we find something that helps and we have success! 

Also I turned a big old cast iron bucket into a planter.  It now has two types of basil in it.   I had chook manure,  egg shells and started filling this bucket with compost.   Then I remembered all the eggs that didn't hatch so they went in too.   

I collected a bucket of chook manure to mix in with some compost to start some new good soil for any future big containers I find.  And I am watching out for such containers! 
On top of that I was given a whole trailer load of huge bags of shredded paper.  I was given four big bags last week.   The hen houses and nesting boxes are full of fresh clean bedding but I have so much more!  

Molly got a new bed.  

In my quest to make Zackie's coat shiny they each get two eggs every night. 

I mentioned last week how her coat has improved.  Her happiness has just skyrocketed.  She is such a character!

The pears have been ripening.  I got to work and did 80 in one day.  

These became puree which I froze in baby food sized portions.   Since then I have cooked some more everyday.   

The second tree of pears are still not quite ready to pick... which is good it gives me more time!

Mum had given me an old wheelbarrow.  I got that planted up with cuttings of some of my succulents.  I think when they grow it will look really nice.

I also managed to collect a few more succulent cuttings. 

Hundreds of tiny seedlings have come up in my kitchen garden.  I think they are chard.  I have watered them and re located some so they are not too crowded.  A lot of bonus plants! 

I went to town and did a big stock up shop.   The store had some empty shelves but overall I got what we needed.  As I always chat to everyone I come home with a heap of information.  The lady in the supermarket told me that they are shipping groceries to Perth as the roads and rail have been so impacted by hold ups.   Perth girls this is Woolworths,  she said they are sending a ship!  
The lady also told me some other tips and what items have been hardest to get, these included meat and cheese.    Overall my impression of the supermarket reminded me of something Vicky said to me.  Over time things have just declined. It isn't all at once.  It isn't instant.  There has just been a general decline in availability and quality and at the same time and big increase in prices.  We are more or less used to expecting to see some empty shelves.   We shop now more with an "I'll see what I can get and I'll see what looks good and how the prices are" attitude rather than a set list.   The lists I do make I try to think of several options as plan A might not work out.   And this is what we have to do.  Adapt.  Deciding to not buy anything until what we want returns could be quite a bad idea.   I am getting what we use, the things I know Mum looks for and the girls look for and glad to add them to the pantry as no longer can I assume they will be there next week.   From what you all report this is pretty much the same far and wide. 

Yesterday I was just home from town when Vicky messaged me that war had broken out.  I am struggling to put words together here.  It is too massive to "comment" on.  I know that the Ukraine is the "bread basket" of Europe, rich in grain production and minerals and much more....   I thought of Laura immediately and she has sent a comment that bombs are falling 180 kilometres from her,  that people are fleeing and are on the border near her trying to get out.  I am sorry, I really have no words that do a good job of saying how sad I am and what this might mean for the people of Ukraine, Europe and the world.  We do not know what tomorrow holds.  

I do not want to promote fear in any way.  I have always encouraged everyone to be watchful, to be prudent, to look after your family the best you can.  To be prepared for when there might be too many bills, job loss or a storm.  Week by week that is what we do!   Having hands that are busy with what we have to work on makes us generally happy and content.   If we are ready for "winter storms" we can help others also! 

Preparing so much since about 2016 I have considered maybe I am just plain crazy.  It is not that much of a stretch.  But then a lot of people have told me they had the feeling, the prompting... and many say they have it now.  That feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop.   That thing like when you KNOW YOU KNOW a name or word and it is on the tip of your tongue but you just can't quite get it out!!  Ahhh infuriating it is so close... but I don't know it.  I will know it in a minute, just hang on!   Well,  that is my feeling.  I don't know what it is but it is something.   

When 2020 started I had that feeling. So did many of you here,  Vicky and Glenda both said to me the first week of January 2020 they knew we must busy ourselves and be prepared.  While I might be crazy these are trusted, sensible, reliable friends.  Others have said to me similar things.   And here we are.  

In my opinion God has been so good to place it in my heart to become as self reliant as we can and give me so much opportunity to actually do it.  So much time to learn and get stuff done. 

Some time back on my old blog Mel shared a beautiful story of her Grand Mother.  I hope Mel will not mind re sharing it here....

"When they feared the coming war my great Grandmother advised my Grandmother on what had become in short supply during WW1 and what to stock up on. Namely soap and other toiletries, sugar, fabric, wool, first aid goods and luxury items such as stockings etc. Now with plenty of other things to spend their money on my Grandparents took this advice. My mother tells me all their clothes were taken out of their drawers and a layer of cakes of soap was laid down and then their clothes put back on top. This happened in every room (this also deters moths). Then my grandmother bought a barrel of sugar and old jumpers second hand from the markets to unpick. She also stocked up on cottons and went into overdrive in canning her home grown goods.
There were other things they did like finish off everything needed doing in the house and prepare their garden. It is great to grow fruit trees but we all know they often take a few years to take off. Vegetable garden was increased and Golden syrup stocked up on. As well my Grandmother had a stockpile of sheets and towels. Now we know how helpful extra sheets used for fabric or bandages or many other uses can be but at her age it would not have been my first thought.
During the war my mother and her sister were always clean. Soap was grated to wash clothes, and for bathing. My Grandmother made pulled candy and all the local kids got a few pieces on their birthday during the war and when sugar was rationed. My grandmother was able to feed and clothe her family simply because she listened and took in this advice which I must say I might have shrugged off in her position. Six years is a long time to struggle through without many basics and also rationing went on for a while after simply because many things were in such short supply."

I loved this story! From listing to her Mother in laws advice Mel's Grandma put a plan into action that benefitted the family for many years. Just amazing. I certainly hope we are not facing a world war but I am trying to show that prudent planning can make a world of difference to your households future. Not just your household but maybe giving you the chance to help many others. All for taking action and opportunity wisely as you can. At the end of the day I would rather do what I can than worry. It is not fearful to be prepared. The rest I pray about.

How was your week? Did you build you pantry or garden? All you are doing is inspiring to others and we all need encouragement! We are friends across the world and I look forward to knowing how you did this week.xxx


  1. Thank you for your wise words, Annabel. Thank you for sharing Mel's story about her grandmother. I will take notes. I need to do more preparing over the weekend. I am going to buy seeds and cottons. I can't quite believe the news....never thought that this would happen in my lifetime. I feel there is much to do and I need to keep working hard to make home as much of a sanctuary as possible. I am praying. Lots of love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily, Seeds and cottons are both very good to have. I loved Mel's Grandma. I have thought wow years later people are still talking about what an absolute legend she was, how she was wise and smart! I am so inspired by her. What a difference she made! And the things she stored were mostly small... they kept, did not cost a fortune to stock up on... very clever. I copied the soaps... I have a fair few drawers that have a layer of soap on the bottom. In my linen cupboard I have a giant vase from a wedding and it has another 60 or so soaps... it smells lovely and my linen allows smells so nice! I have saved pure wool blankets. I store many between the mattresses on the beds... so you wouldn't know they are even there. But I figure pure wool is good. I have saved many cottons... mainly from thrift stores but I have a lot. On top of the bathroom cabinet I have a basket. I filled that with pads and tampons... (which I dont need but I figure a good thing to have, I have two daughters after all...) I have a tin I keep which has fifty lighters. Another tin of can openers... (also from op shops) and a tin of matches... maybe 30 or 40 packets. I have been stashing stuff... all along thinking of Mel's Grandma. I totally agree with you we need to make our home our sanctuary. We dont turn the tv on much and that helps. Many thanks Lily, with love Annabel.xxx

  2. Baby chicks are just so cute and sweet. They brought a smile to my face. The pups are adorable.

    1. Thank you Cheryl! They are doing really well too! Animals are beautiful and add a lot of joy to my day! xxx

  3. Hello everyone,

    Well, what can I say? Scary times ahead, for definite. I do think that I will make sure that I have the means to repair things, sewing thread, darning wool, glue (of different types), gaffer tape etc. A lot of these things aren't easy to buy now, so I can only imagine it getting worse and they won't 'go off'.

    This week I have bulk bought washing up liquid, I now have enough to last me about 18 months. I got a fabulous cotton sheet in a charity shop, for the princely sum of £1.50, I am going to take a pattern from an existing summer dress I have and hope I have enough material in the sheet to make it up. I have also been knitting dishcloths, lots of dishcloths! Now grey wouldn't have been my first choice of colour, but when that's whats in the charity shop for 10p a ball that's what I am going to use!
    That's been about it really.

    Take care everyone

    1. What a great post, Annabel! I wish I could have known Mel's grandmother. Our kind of people! And I meant to tell you before, I LOVE your white silkies! I have a silkie rooster and he is the homeliest thing but such a sweet boy and so good with his ladies :-). Molly and Zackie are adorable and what a good healthy thing to give them eggs every day.

      I am in my use-it-up-mode and concentrating on rotation of our stored goods. We had planned a stock-up trip to town today but will wait until tomorrow when the weather should be nicer. We definitely need to add to our stock of animal feed and check our supply of different fuels (gasoline, kerosene, diesel and lamp oil) before our trip.

      I'm afraid what is taking place in Ukraine could have far-reaching effects. May be the tip of the iceberg and yes, the best thing we can do is continue with our preps and pray without ceasing! That helps ease the fear I think. I will continue to pray for Laura!

      Have lots on my plate today so off I go. I appreciate this group so much and especially you, Annabel, always encouraging and inspiring us all. You are priceless!

    2. Dear Su,
      I love finding nice sheets! I like the cotton ones with old fashioned roses or flowers on them. You can just make so many things!
      I was only today looking at what kind of glues I have. I have a basket of all different kinds... I was thinking the same... ways to fix things. Great minds think alike! The grey cotton will go with many peoples kitchens as grey, black and white have been very popular (if you want to use as gifts) but otherwise they will be very handy anyway. Just now I am using up some scraps... so dish cloths in crazy stripes but they are just for myself! Your charity shop sounds like a really good one! With love Annabel. xxx

    3. Dear Pam,
      I have wanted silkies for a long time. These are very quiet too.
      Thank you for such kindness Pam. Since Friday... a lot has happened re Russia and Ukraine. I feel a bit sick about it (tonight, Sunday night) but as you say we must pray.
      I am also stocking up on animal feed... and also lamb and calf formula. I imagined getting an orphan if formula wasnt available... I will store plenty! You are very wise on the fuels also. We have a lot to think of. I hope it is a good new week for you, with love Annabel.xxx

  4. Thank you Annabel. I don't have words to describe how cruel the russian army is. They now attack Kiev so my area is quiet for now which gives time for ucrainean people to cross over. They allow only women and childrrn to cross and families are separating. So Heartbreaking. All our empty rooms in town are full with refugees and people are waiting them with water, food, fruits and even toys for children. They all cross by foot. Humanity is not dead!! Thank you again for getting me prepared..I feel like I am well enogh prepared even for helping some otger people we have the grab and go bags ready at the door. Also a stock of food, water, medicine and important papers down in the basement. I have no words only tears.

    1. Dear Laura,
      I am just so glad you are prepared. We are seeing a dire situation forming in Kiev. The people of your town sound so kind and welcoming. We are praying and I am short of words myself but we are here to listen and many are praying including myself of course. Please keep posting as you are able. With much love Annabelxxx

    2. Laura so good to hear from you and so glad you are prepared and can also if needed help others :) .

      Your towns people sound so welcoming and loving to the refugees and you are so right humanity is not dead :) .

      Your and yours are in our thoughts and prayers along with the Ukranian people.


    3. Laura,
      I’m so grateful to hear this update from you in this wonderful space that Annabel has provided.
      Happy to know you feel prepared enough to be charitable. Being charitable will do wonders for your peace of mind. Keep trusting God. Stay as busy as you can.
      I’m so sorry the weakness of our president may have contributed to this suffering. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, but I feel called to say it.
      So many in America are praying for you all. Much love, friends.
      God knows my heart better than I can express it.

    4. Laura, my heart goes out to you and your countrymen and the refugees. I am praying for you all and sending my love. Thank you for letting us know what is going on there. It's so good to know you are stocked up and also able to bless others.

  5. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, you did so well this week and the photos of your animals always make me smile. Thanks for posting them. Also, you are not crazy! You are smart and well prepared, and we are, too, thanks to you and the other ladies who post here. Numerous times over the past few years I have been so thankful to have listened to the little voice telling me to be ready for...something...and to have listened and learned from you and the other ladies.

    Love and prayers for Laura R. and her family, and everyone in Ukraine during this heartbreaking time. As a child of the 80s and the Cold War, it has been heart-wrenching reading the news and I also struggle to express myself. Anyone who is there, please know that you are loved and there are many hoping for safety for you.

    Building up our home this week has mainly been cooking and stocking up supplies. We both return to on-site work on Monday, so I baked a double batch (four loaves) of whole wheat bread for sandwiches and breakfast toast, cookies, spaghetti sauce, beef tips and noodles, and have a big roast thawing to cook over the weekend and slice up. The homemade bread gets sliced up too and stored in the freezer - taking it out the night before has it perfect at lunch time, and it toasts really well from frozen. I got some fresh produce, fresh garlic (!) which has been in short supply, some dry goods, and soap at the store; tonight we are doing a pickup from the price club for home cleaning items, paper goods, dairy, maple syrup, and pasta. My husband also restocked on HEPA filters for our HVAC. I'm considering buying some more pure wool yarn since there is a great sale now at a shop I like.

    There was another ice storm this week, but we haven't lost power and have been cozy at home. I've been working on knitting a wool sweater and some small gift items, and stitching, as always. On the weekend, I had a fabric and floss dyeing "party" all by myself in my kitchen, and am really pleased with the colors that turned out (a soft aqua, violet, and a blue/violet blend).

    I hope everyone has a good weekend and stays safe.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      The colours you are dying the fabric and floss sound beautiful to me. And also my idea of fun!
      Your fresh homemade bread and roast meat make for lovely lunches. A young man we know was upset his wife lost her job last week. I was explaining to him how a dollar saves is equal to a dollar earned and how on the weekends if the cooked they could say so much money per week and gave him some examples of what we can make and the cost vs the cost of buying. He was kind of amazed. But the things we spend our time on can have such a significant impact!
      Today I was talking to someone who said how the little voice has become a big voice and an urgent feeling and she thinks she is crazy! I said no... you're not... (unless we all are) and she was reassured. I am very thankful that we can have such a warning in our hearts and time to prepare. Since that first feeling/warning I could not list all we have done. Our life now is a world away from where we started. And there is still more to do. But that time has been so valuable!
      Thank you for thinking of and praying for Laura also.
      Your ice storm sounds terrible but Im so glad power hung on and you were cozy knitting away! Your pick up of paper goods and staples sounds excellent too. A very good week I think! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Here in the UK and still shielding as my husband has cancer, it is very frightening all that is going on in Ukraine I keep praying for those poor people all the time, it almost seems unbelievable, after covid now this, the news said here energy prices could be £3000 a year, with invasion price went up 40%, I have stocked wood. I have been stocking food supplies since 2019 like you I felt God was leading me that way. I do not go to the shops but my sister said things like tinned goods, oats, tea we're low and it's a massive super store she goes to. I thankfully brought all the seeds I need last year and compost. All we can do as you say is work hard so we can support ourselves and help others. Take care everyone.

    1. Dear Su, I am sorry about your husband having cancer... keeping well is so important and this must stress and worry you so much. I am hearing about the prices of gas for the home and fuel for the vehicles! With a cold climate this is just terrible. We also use wood. And we build up giant wood piles. So good to have!
      It is really good that you have seeds. It amazes me how we all know God was telling us to get moving on our pantry and garden etc. I still have the feeling. It is hard to describe. Like the anticipation of something but Im not sure what. So I keep preparing! You are right that if we can support ourselves we can help others! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. We are being watchful and still prepping for what may come. I think you for your reminders today. One thing I heard this week is that the Arabica coffee crop was lost to a freeze and that coffee will likely become very expensive in the coming months. If any of you are like us this is an important thing to note. We are thinking of the the possibility of the power grid going down since it has been threatened. Through it all we must seek God's face and His wisdom and not fear.

    1. Dear Lana, Already I am seeing coffee go up. I am a tea person and Andy is a coffee person... although if Im out I love a good cup of coffee. What I make at home isn't very good! But I would never want to run out of either. So I pay attention and try and stock up on sales. But if sales are less often well we will just have to get it anyway. When I am tired, out of energy and tea or coffee break really is beautiful. Then mostly I am up and running again. Yes we seek wisdom in our steps! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Hello Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds,
    Like you, my heart is heavy with the news of war. I continue praying for the people of Ukraine and others involved, as well as the leaders of our world. I know beyond a doubt that God loves all of his children and is in control no matter the difficulties we face.

    Still, my heart is full of joy with the birth of our first great-grandchild. Kordell and his mommy are doing well. My younger daughter and I drove to California, about 6 hours, and had the joy of spending a few days holding and loving on him and the rest of the family. Our daughter who is the new grandma and husband drove over from AZ, as well, and new mama's sister came from closer by. It was 4 generations sharing time and love together that I will never forget.

    Gas prices were more than $4 in California, but my husband had instructed us to fill up on the AZ side where we found gas for $3.69 a gallon. Dear friends let us use their condo for the time we were there, saving the cost of a hotel for those of us visiting from AZ. I had packed a cooler with fruit, sandwiches and drinks. I also brought bread, peanut butter and some snacks that helped some with food.
    Grocery prices here are steadily increasing. I have only been making quick visits to pick up mainly loss leaders, clearance and sometimes a couple other things. My generous neighbors and the people on the Buy Nothing Group have kept us supplied very well, along with being able to share with others. I took my neighbor with me to take a look at food panty leftovers one of the ladies in Buy Nothing puts out. We were both able to find several helpful food items and even split a couple things. We were both out of potatoes and there were enough potatoes for each of us to get a few. The potatoes I had at home were sprouting to the point I was only able to salvage a few. The sprouting ones are being added to my garden. When my neighbor shared thing from her trip to the food pantry yesterday, she gave me 2 bags of potatoes! She had received a box containing 6 bags! It's also citrus time here, so we have been picking and sharing yummy citrus.

    The local Buy Nothing Group has really been a blessing. It is such a joy to be able to help and make new friends, too. Within the last couple of weeks, I have given 3 cans of soup to a lady who let me know she was sick and the store was out, a candle that was a scent we couldn't use, several clothing items that didn't fit and probably other things I can't remember. We have received food, a huge piece of lovely upholstery fabric to recover dining chairs in desperate need and still have a lot to share with the group, almost new pink satin sheet set (thought of you) and
    a while back I was gifted a dehydrator, which has been put to use saving fruits and vegetables for longer storage. Another huge gift was a 15 minute photo shoot. The shoot was for Valentine's. My husband and I became engaged on Valentine's Day 52 years ago. We had never had a professional photo shoot and now have some wonderful photos of the two of us to enjoy and share with our family. I used a free 8X10 Walgreen's coupon to get the first print.

    Thank you again for your encouraging blog! I love seeing your photos and reading what you are up to.

    Wishing you and the Bluebirds a safe, happy weekend!
    Love from Arizona, USA,

    1. Dear Elaine, Congratulations!! That is the best news. I am so glad you got to hold and visit your Great Grandson!
      The photo will be so precious! That is wonderful!
      You are right, the pink sheets sound beautiful to me!! What a good week you had. I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Thank you for Mel's grandmother 's advise. Your baby chick's are so cute. Molly has really grown and Zackie looks happy. Our Rosie weighs 23 pounds now. I am praying Laura is safe. Eggs have gone up in price along with other things here in NW Indiana. We bought gas for $2.49 yesterday and got groceries from Aldi's. I keep planting the ends of Romaine lettuce and celery. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy,
      Can you believe it is between $5 and $8 a doz for eggs here! Your Rosie is big now! Also I am seeing some places the gas has hit $4! Sorry re my slow reply! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Dear Annabel,
    Wonderful and helpful post as always. You chicks and sweet dog are adorable. Animals bring us so much joy. My pets brighten every day.
    Mel's letter was so interesting. it reminds me of my grandparents who always had home and bought canned goods, a full freezer, and extras of most anything you could think of that would be useful.
    We definitely need to make our homes as much of a respite from the world as possible. Things changed in the blink of an eye
    I did a big stock up at Vitacost because I received a 20% off coupon. I have all my seeds ready to go and can start them in just a few weeks... can't wait. Glad that you heard from Laura in Romania. Prayers for her safety. I know someone online from Poland. Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura, Sorry to be so slow to reply. Finally my weekend is giving me some time. My Grandparents also had great supplies and made everything, repaired everything. They learned and I wish I still had them to ask them more about the Great Depression etc.
      It was good you could do a stock up. I hope you saw Laura did post here... I am hoping to hear from her again this week though. With love Annabel.xxx

  11. I thought of you while watching this video. We eat a lot of eggs and enjoy good health. This helps explain why.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--Rx7EZyC7s&ab_channel=Dr.EricBergDC.
    Your eggs would be nutritionally superior to what we buy, I'm sure.

    1. Thank you Rita! Eggs are amazing. The difference eggs make to a dogs coat in a short time are nothing compared to what they do for us! I agree. Thank you for the link! xxx

  12. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you for sharing your week. The new chicks are adorable and Molly and Zacky really look happy. I remember when you first posted Mel's story and I took her great grandmother's advice. I also used coupons at the craft store for melt and pour goatsmilk soap to have on hand to quickly make should commercial soaps come into short supply.

    This past week my computer died and couldn't be repaired. I feel very blessed that it happened on President's Day, which is a holiday in the US, with sales galore. I was able to buy a new computer for half the original price. Thankfully we have always kept a flush fund for the unexpected and the funds came out of that.

    Ways I built my pantry this week to make a dozen gluten free tortillas, baked a loaf of English muffin bread for my husband, made a dozen sweet potato waffles for the freezer. After eating and orange I used the skin to make orange extract. There is a shortage of cream cheese here (south central Pennsylvania, USA).I found a recipe on how to make it with just milk and lemon juice. I made some this week . Very easy and better than store bought. Also less expensive . I froze the leftover whey to use in other things. Leftovers were used creatively to make different meals. I have several WWII cookbooks that I'm rereading to find more ways to stretch food. Cookir

    1. Cookie would you share your recipe for gluten free tortillas? Thanks!

    2. Patti, I cannot use conventional gluten free flour because of a sensitivity to some of the grains used, so I use cassava flour or coconut flour mixed with arrowroot flour. For conventional gluten free flour tortillas there is a good recipe on glutenfreeonashoestring.com/flour tortillas. I use the recipe on the back of the cassava flour bag.

    3. Dear Cookie, Thank you so much for helping Patti out. Sorry about your computer! Also sorry with my slow reply. I have also stored caustic soda, oils etc so I can make up soap anytime if needed, apart from the soap that I have stored.
      I do love making soap!
      It was great you were able to stock up and learn to make cream cheese. Also about the good deal on the computer!! I am glad you are up and running again! With much love, Annabel.xxx

  13. Thank you for all of your advice Annabel and thank you for sharing Mel's story. I love your little chicks they are just beautiful. You have also done a great job with the dogs they look so healthy and happy. I am always so impressed by the amount of work you achieve. You are an inspiration.

    1. Thank you so much! Really I get most things done in bite sized chunks and little bits at a time but it adds up! Thank you! xxx

  14. Mels grandparents story remains as relevant today as it was then. An important lesson. I looked at my own stores this morning, and calculated that we could live comfortably for 4-5 months on what we currently have. That would mean some replacements on the menu as Cookie mentioned, but we could manage. It might be time to increase that I think. Worldwide instability makes for lifestyle corrections. Great post Annabel. Mimi x

    1. Dear Mimi, Well said... world wide instability makes for lifestyle corrections... that is so true. Sorry with my slow reply... I hope you re both ok there.... with floods and C as well... I am glad you are well ahead with your supplies. The past few weeks have been pretty much crazy! With love, Annabel.xxx

  15. Hi Annabel, I had a breakthrough in figuring out how to comment (I can't use my iPad but my laptop works fine)! I love your blog, read it every week. Your comments today on the feeling of upcoming changes match my own, and that of a few concerned friends. We don't know what is coming, other than we aren't thinking anything flu/covid related. So I have topped up my freezer, pantry and medicine cabinets, and now will spend this weekend going through everything to see what else I can do. I really appreciated your story about the grandmother's advice, I have been reading G'Donna's site and her transition to living like it was 1943 and how the world was back then, it has been very helpful to get me thinking. Thank you so much for the time and effort you spend here. Your series last summer (your winter) on preparedness was fabulous, and I have shared the link with friends. Greetings from Arizona!

    1. Thank you so much for persisting and commenting. This seems a common thing, the iPads are tricky to comment on, it is the same for me.
      Thank you for confirming my feelings. When you know you know. Good job on all the areas you are attending to. G'Donna has some great info! Also thank you for sharing the preparedness links with friends! It was exhausting doing 30 days in a row! lol ! xxxx

  16. Afternoon Annabel and Bluebirds,
    These are certainly difficult times we are living in. My thoughts go to Laura and her family. We are a long way from the Ukraine in NZ but are acutely aware of what it means for the Ukrainian people especially and then the rest of the world.
    Dp and I had 9 nights away in our happy place, Golden Bay, at the top of the South Island. We also had the opportunity to catch up with three groups of dear friends while up that way. We returned home on Sunday. On Tuesday we had a meeting about earthquake damage to our home, which is estimated by the builder to cost around NZD$200,000 to repair.Bare in mind we moved out for repairs in 2014 and two years ago had the house checked again and received a payout from eqc(earthquake commission) for sub-standard repairs, mostly re-decoration issues. However our engineers have determined much more extensive damage. So we will be paid out $115,000 by eqc, less the money we received two years ago and then the difference will come from our insurance company. In 4 weeks the builders scope of works we go to eqc, who will send a copy to our insurance company. He estimates it will take around 6-9 months for us to settle with the insurance on costs and a payout. The builder is doubtful the cladding on the house will survive as it is a heavy brick and will crack and fall off as the house is lifted up, so they can repair the piles and ring foundation of the houses. We share a roof line and garage wall with our neighbour and he is going through the same . So a lot happening for us at the moment. Covid has also arrived in my corner of the world. My manager received a positive test yesterday. She is fully vaccinated but quite unwell. Imagine if she wasn't. She has been very proactive around covid safety measures for which I am very thankful.
    Other things I am thankful for are of course the health and well being of my family and friends, we have access to food supplies, so far we haven't been hit by any shortages but I am conscious this could well change, I have had a wonderful holiday break, we have healthy savings and can cover all our needs and some wants, not that there are many of those. The black boy peach trees, pear trees, walnut tree and apple trees at work are laden with fruit which will ripen in the coming month. I am always surprised how more of our families don't take advantage of the free fruit but I certainly do and will fill the freezer with it. With the rising cost of living I will take advantage of these opportunities. From the garden we are getting silver beet,tomatoes,courgettes and our lemon tree is full. My herbs are also doing well. Sadly I don't think dp will get any feijoa's this year as the wind knocked off all the blossom in spring.
    Annabel Molly and Zackie are looking healthy and happy. I too am trying to improve the coat on my old puss. I have just started giving him some sardines in oil once a week. He loves them. I just googled about whether he can eat eggs and see if can have some cooked egg occasionally but in small amounts. So this may be another thing to help. I love the old wheelbarrow with the succulents. I love succulents.
    Stay well and safe everyone, especially Laura.


    1. Dear Mandy,
      We have not lived through anything like the last couple of years. We had it so good really! Now it seems like one week to the next just escalates somehow.
      I am glad you had a lovely holiday! That was good. The house damage and insurance and repairs.. it is so hard, I found just renovating hard. So this is huge and has gone on for such a long time... I hope finally this will all be fixed for you.
      And covid.. it is closing in on us also. The kids are school have friends with it and so it is probably imminent here. I hope you can totally take advantage of the beautiful free fruit! Absolutely! Do you know what? People will say to me oh lovely fruit (or whatever) BUT that looks like a lot of work. Well.... the more people with that attitude the more there is for you and I to harvest and fill our shelves and freezer with!
      Cod liver oil, sardines and eggs... I swear by these for shiny coats. A egg stirred through dry food if dry food is used. Since I have a lot of eggs this is easy here. Mum gave me more succulents too! Now... sorry I took so long to reply, this is my catch up weekend and I really appreciate your comments Mandy, thank you! With love Annabel.xxx

  17. I meant to add thank you for the reminder of Mels's grandmothers story. It is timely in today's world.


  18. I am so thankful for this site and the community here. My heart and prayers are with Laura, and my Ukranian brothers and sisters. Thank you, Annabel, for sharing Mel's story. It has inspired me to do more and to creatively store extras.
    I am thankful for my full pantry. As stocking up has aided my family to eat well during my husband's loss of hours. He had covid in early January and has had trouble being re-certified to drive commercially. Thankfully, he still has his bus driving job as he can drive some of the smaller buses. But he has lost hours because of this and still awaits all-clear from his doctor. But all this to share that we never know what we are preparing for when we stock up.
    Blessings to you all,
    Leslie (Ohio)

    1. Dear Leslie, Good job on being well stocked up and ready for this loss of hours. Also it is great your husband had the second driving job that he could keep going with. I hope he gets the all clear to go back on the commercial trucks.
      Mel's Grandma was so smart! I took on board... small items... that store well... are not expensive to gather but become worth so much! Pretty clever!
      Sorry I have been slow to reply! This is my catch up weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  19. I heard a report earlier today that many Russians were protesting the war. Their lives have been threatened because of this. I have spent my day praying for ALL soldiers and families involved. Too often we are just pawns of our leaders.

    This week I find myself with time on my hands. My daughter got a new job, and the youngest grandson will go to nursery in the town where she works. I have been so tired keeping him, but I confess to missing him mightily! lol However there are many things to do.

    I have gone through my pantry and freezer and noted what things I'm out of or low on. The list is LONG but I'll tackle it a bit at a time. Draining the account for stocking up is no more prudent than ignoring the need to stock up.

    Someone reported on their blog (I cannot find where they are from but someplace in the US based on gas prices) that the gas stations near them were now allowing them to purchase only ONE gallon of gas at a time if their debit/gift/credit card available balance was less than $100. I know many people have less than that available between pay periods.

    I noted that ground beef was on sale for a good price, so I bought a family package. It was a bit under 3.5 pounds and for us that works out to about 7 meals. Sometimes we think that 'bulk buying' has to be a big thing but really it can be just buying two of something, one to use now and one to use later. It doesn't have to be a big, huge expense all at once.

    I have ordered the Ball Blue book of preserving and will read it for hot water bath canning recipes. I noted the comments on last week's post to reuse lids and jars for jams and jellies in canning. Thank you for sharing that information.

    One thing I know I shall be doing without the little boy underfoot is returning to much baking and diy-ing projects that were pushed aside because I couldn't do it while caring for him. I noted today the savings I can make just on grocery items alone. I am going to go back to making yogurt and bagels.

    Saturday as I made up pizza it occurred to me I could also make cheesy breadsticks. This is an item we've bought occasionally at Aldi for about $4 a package. However, there I was with pizza dough, butter, garlic, and cheese and I made up the same amount that was in the packaged stuff for under $1 total.

    By the way, cream cheese at the grocery where I was today was $2.59 and very little available. I can make a cream cheese like cheese from yogurt allowed to drain...I bought milk for 89cents a half gallon weeks ago and froze it. I can make a lot of yogurt with enough to spare to make cheese and still have milk to drink and still have spent only 89cents.

    1. Dear Terri, Yes I agree with you. All affected, all the families... we are dragged along by our governments and many times we do not agree and have no say.
      The Ball Blue book would be wonderful to have. That seems to be the Canning Bible.
      It is true that a lot of meal prep, cooking from scratch that is possible with the time is so big in savings. This is where I know a lot of people spend a lot as they just end up with no time to do it. But the savings can be staggering. I used to figure out how much my baking would cost to buy ie cakes from the bakery or sausage rolls or scrolls and often my big batch saved me over $100!
      Oh my gosh on the gas... one gallon at a time is like they will be selling it in cartons next! And really given all that is happening this could go up so much yet.
      Congratulations to your daughter on her new job. Also I hope you find all you need on your list as you can. With much love, Annabel.xxx

  20. Annabel your new little chicks are just so adorable and it does seem your hen is happy with just two little ones :) . Your wheelbarrow succulent garden is amazing and great you had some volunteer silverbeet plants to transplant elsewhere. You have done so much on processing your pears and hopefully you can get time to process all the ones you have picked before the next ones are ready. I am glad you hear you were able to get all that you needed in your grocery stock up shop.

    With stocks of groceries being so patchy along with other items we use we are using the grabbing it when we see it way of doing things as well as we just don't know if it will be in stock later. I do have a grocery shopping list as well but it is a very fluid one and I may and usually do of late grab other items not on the list that have been out of stock for a while. We too have just put in a monthly grocery online order for the month of March to top up on items we have used.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $225.25 in savings last week :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 4 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machine saving $13.96 over buying them locally.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Blanched and froze our corn harvest (48 cobs) from the gardens into meal sized portions for the freezer.

    Purchases -
    - On half price sales I purchased 6 packets of cc corn chips for DH, 1 x colgate sensitive pro relief toothpaste, 1 x colgate mouthwash, and 1 x packet of sultana bran and 6 x bottles Schweppes 1.1lt bottles of sarsparilla on a 33% off sale saving $26.43 on usual prices. I also coupled that saving with a 4% or $9.86 saving by using our RACQ wish e-gift card we purchased from RACQ with our total grocery shopping savings being $36.29.

    Hair cuts -
    - I had my hair washed, cut and blow dried at a local village home hair dressing salon for $20 saving $55 over getting it cut in a local town hair dressing salon.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 48 cobs of bantam sweet corn from the vegetable gardens saving $120 over buying organic ones in the local supermarkets.
    - We amended two garden beds with dried grass clippings and veg scraps, egg shells from the kitchen.
    - I planted another crop of corn in one garden bed that will hopefully make it to maturity before the frosts set in here.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :) .


    1. Dear Lorna,
      So sorry with my slow reply. It is a beautiful Autumn day here, I have done my outside work and am having a lovely time catching up.
      Your corn on the cob sounds beautiful and what a huge saving! You had a lot of savings actually and very nice to get your hair done.
      I need to learn to grow corn... my first crop was pretty dismal and it is something my Grand daughters would eat all day happily. I am improving soil, trying new things...
      I hope your tanks are full but you are not getting too much rain! With much love Annabel.xxx

    2. Annabel now worries about the reply :) .

      Corn is a heavy feeder so add manure , compost to the soil and side dress with urea pellets and water in well once before the corn reaches 8 leaves in size and mulch when they are about the same size and they will do well :) . They don't like a lot of water either.

      Yes our rainwater tanks are filled to overflowing which is lovely.

      Hope this helps.


  21. Thank you for posting Mel's grandparents' story again. I remember it from the first publish. It inspired me then to continue and improve my efforts, which actually began with an epic snowstorm when we were newlyweds in 1969.

    I also want to thank you--once again--for your preparedness series of a few months ago. Every time see my generator, it makes me happy! We haven't needed it, but it's encouraging to know we have it if needed. We have a portable tri-fuel generator that is connected to our natural gas line, so we would have heat and be able to run our fridge and freezer from the outlets. Learning we could power a generator with natural gas was a game-changer because it's a never-ending supply. We've turned it on twice this winter to make sure it worked--it fired right up!

    The other thing you got me started on was preparing 7 freezer meals. I have been eating one every week or two and then cooking double to replace it. I made chicken divan this week.

    I have some emergency items in my car, including a tool that breaks windows and slits seatbelts. A few weeks ago I found a whistle and put it in the car, too. There have been a few accidents around here when people were trapped in cars and needed to scream for help.

    I spent a day last weekend doing a lot of cooking. I made a big pot of chicken vegetable soup and left a quart of it on my friend's front porch. She is recovering from Covid.

    I sewed a button on a shirt and mended two potholders. The hand-sewn binding was coming out, so I zigzagged it on the machine...which I should have done in the first place.

    I don't normally buy groceries at Safeway or Albertsons because they are the most expensive in my town. However, we get our prescriptions at the Safeway pharmacy. When I was picking up a Rx, I noticed they had a markdown meat bin. I bought 3 large boneless chuck steaks for 50% off, which was $3.99 lb. Never thought I'd get excited about $3.99 chuck steak...but there you have it. I cut each steak into 4 steaks = 12 total for $1.59 each. I bought milk at Albertsons Thursday because I was next door. I looked for markdown meat and they had a large package of link breakfast sausage for 50% off. I got 30 links for the same price as 14 links at the store where I usually shop! I froze the steak and sausage. I will definitely be checking for markdown meat anytime I have a prescription!

    I bought ibuprofen and vitamins at no cost using my Medicare over-the-counter drug benefit. I have now thrown away all of my outdated meds and replaced them this way. (More preparedness!)

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Ukraine and those in border towns, like Laura. Thank you, Laura, for your kindness to others. I am sure your preparations will pay off for you and others.

    1. Hi there,

      If you have time, would you mind please sharing with me what brand of generator you got? We have been considering buying one and putting it on our natural gas line, but choosing which one is a little overwhelming. I love recommendations from folks who are happy with their particular item.

      Thank you so much,

    2. I am in the USA. The generator is a Firman T07571 and we got it at Costco when it was on sale last fall for $800. It is the same or very similar to the one that is on sale now for $899 at costco dot com (price includes shipping). It is rated for 7,500watts/9,400 watts and should run our furnace, two major appliances (fridge and freezer) and possibly a lamp or two. I can work with this much power. We cook with gas and the burners (but not the oven) will light with a match. We connected the generator to the natural gas line at the furnace (you can also connect where it comes into the house), and we leave it connected. It is in our garage. Although we haven’t needed it, we’ve started it twice and it fired right up!

      We put a CO2 detector in the garage. My husband posted directions for start-up right next to the generator. This includes a reminder to open a door or window to vent carbon monoxide.

      Finding out we could get a generator that would operate on natural gas was a game-changer. Eventually you will run out of gasoline or propane (and there were reasons we couldn’t use either one), but the natural gas just keeps flowing! A tri-fuel was exactly what we needed and worth the extra cost (plus it WILL work on gasoline or propane).

    3. Thank you very much, this is so helpful! (I'm in the US, too, so very relevant for me.) I appreciate you taking the time to write it all down.

    4. Dear Maxine, Thank you so much! Also thank you for helping Kathy re the generator.
      Good job re the car preps. Something to cut seatbelts and something to smash the windows is a good idea. You got some fantastic deals!! Also the medical items updated is a good idea. I think the freezer meals are just so handy. I also cook double mostly so I am not cooking every night. Tonight I dont have to cook, just heat up pesto chicken which will be yummy. Yay! Have a very good new week! xxx

  22. Hi Annabel. I'm writing this from a hotel room 300kms south of our hometown. Bluey had his operation at the large University Hospital here on Thursday. He is sore but he is doing so well. I have told him that he can take his time at getting better. Due to flooding we are stuck here and wont be able to get home for a number of days.
    Our town will have emptied the shelves of all the supermarkets. By the time we get home the highway should have been opened long enough to have deliveries made to the supermarkets. I might do a bit of a shop here before heading home.
    Our son (I am selfishly glad he is no longer in the military) and his family are heading off to an Outback town for a 6 month contract. They are doing this so they can come back and have a really good house deposit saved. They will be able to find a reasonable property and will be able to move on this when they find what they want.
    Once Bluey and I have the house back to ourselves we will once again build our pantry again. My son assures me that he has been looking after my garden and my seeds that I planted. If they dont survive I will be starting them again.
    I am feeling driven to get my garden planted and producing food for the table and for friends and family. I've already told Bluey I want a new fishing rod for Mothers day. I have plans to spend more time down at the beach fishing. Fish, eggs and garden produce will keep us going for a long time.
    Mind you I wont be able to do a lot for a while. I will be making sure the Blue man does as little as possible for the next 6-8 weeks as he heals from surgery.
    Please pray for my brother who is currently flying for Lifeflight in horrible conditions. Please pray for those wonderful SES souls who put their own lives at risk to help others. Sadly we have lost one of these beautiful souls who was with a group on their way to rescue a family. People like these are our own true heroes.

    1. I will pray for your brother, Jane. My daughter-in-law is a helicopter pilot flying Emergency Medical Service (air ambulance) in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming. Please pray for her safety as well.

    2. Dear Jane, Your brother is a hero. I cant imagine what he has seen up there. What important lifesaving work.
      I hope you find your garden is fantastic when you get back. It will have grown! With love, Annabel.xxx

  23. I think people are beginning to realize here in the States (a couple hours outside of Chicago) that grocery stores are not going to return to normal. I've also started shopping for what is available and stocking up when I see something we need, as long as there is enough. I don't take more than a couple if there is not much of a product so others can also purchase what they need.

    Flour is beginning to become scarce again, which makes me realize I need to purchase some more to replenish what I had put back. I've left room in the deep freeze to put a few five pound bags in there to debug it.

    I've always been one looking ahead at what may be hard to get in the future but it is getting more difficult to predict since everything is now off and on in availability.

    1. Dear Brenda, I agree. From what I am seeing a lot of people are a bit worried. The wheat supply for the world is compromised by the looks of it. We take such staples so for granted. I have had an education in the importance of the Ukraine in feeding the world and Europe especially. You are right... we need to think ahead! With love Annabel.xxx

  24. Annabel--I look forward to your blog each week! I f've been having trouble responding, but I'm persistent.
    My mobility problems have kept me home lately. We are having a neighbor make new steps for inside the garage.

    We grow our tomatoes in pots. We plant a ring of radish around the tomatoes. They are long gone before the tomatoes spread out. We so appreciate fresh crisp vegs, after the long Alaska winter. We have 10 garden beds in our front yard. We see neighbor's stopping to look at our garden! We also have 2 community garden plots and part of another one our son has. Alot of that is into potatoes and carrots--both are especially good with our long days.

    When we lived here before we had 2 teenagers who drank a lot of milk. My kids were not into powdered milk, so we kept a supply of powdered hot chocolate for emergencies. WE had frequent power outages and the hot chocolate was also warming! We had powdered milk for cooking and canned milk for baking.

    At one point an uncle was out of power for a week. My mother assumed they would lose all their frozen food. I said just use an Alaskan freezer and put the food outside! We would leave it in a vehicle to keep animals out.

    Prayers for peace and for Laura! Alaska Gram

    1. Dear Alaska Gram, Thank you so much! Sorry with my very slow reply.
      I think your radishes around the tomatoes is very clever!
      Powdered hot choclate is a good idea. Powdered milk in cooking is great as no one notices that and it conserves the fresh milk, good idea.
      I have heard of leaving the food out in the cold... I did wonder about bears or some other animal smelling it and getting it. A car is a good idea. I cant even imagine it that cold but this is handy! With much love Annabel.xxx

  25. I enter with a brief story. To tell how proud I am of my country and my people. So far we got more than 50.000 refugees entered from Ucraine, only women and children. Very brave small children and very sad eyes of their mothers and grandmothers. Still there is a que about 3 km to still enter at the border, that means thousands of people and 30 hours of staying. But everybody is helping together - political parties, organisations and just people who came with hot plates with food, blankets, medicines, they take people in their house. More than that there are romanian people who came from hundreds of km away to help with free rides by car to other cities and even other countries. Romanian hospitals are ready to take in ucrainian soldiers and romanian people donate blood that is sent to Ucraine.I have never seen so much kindness and love for other people. This is God watching. Please, pray for the whole planet as Putin just threatened with the nuclear weapon. Please, google Sighetu Marmatiei border to see what I tried to picture with trembling words. Love to everybody

    1. Laura, thank you so much for keeping us posted. YES, you have every right to be proud of your country and your people. Sounds like there are lots of real heroes over there. I know that many in our country (USA) are praying. Ukraine is at the top of my prayer list. I googled the border information you mentioned. Thanks for posting that. And I agree that God is watching and is in charge! We have to trust Him!

    2. Thankyou Laura,
      It is so wonderful to know that love is stepping up and showing such a beautiful example to all of humanity. It makes me think so much goodness can be brought to bad situations by kind and loving everyday people.
      Much love to you and your country folk
      Kate xx

    3. Hi Laura,

      Thank you for posting and for sharing such a story. It makes my heart happy to read of the kindness of your countrymen. Still sending love and lighting candles for you.


  26. This message is for Laura. I want you to know that my church in Idaho, USA, prayed for Ukraine and Ukrainians, and for the surrounding countries. I am sure that churches all over the world prayed today for your part of the planet. We are with you!

    Do you have a blog? If so, please post the URL (if that's OK with Annabel...Annabel, please feel free to delete this last paragraph).


  27. We too are praying for the Ukrainian people. There are no words.

    Since we have a full pantry and freezers, I am just keeping them up. I did buy a few cans of soup and some noodles. Filling in holes.

    I found some cash and gift cards when cleaning off my desk. These will go towards some specific needs.

    I will be looking at seeds this week and a water storage barrel for the downspout. We are in a drought and it is not suppose to ease until later in the summer. If I am going to have a garden, I will need to find another water source than my well.
    I am filling heavier bottles with drinking water and storing in the pantry.

    Our stores are not empty yet in the middle of the USA, but there are shortages on many items, pasta, bottled water, chicken. We just keep watching for sales and keep helping our married kids.

    Thank you for reminding me about matches & lighters. Candles and shredded paper for mulch.

  28. Woolworths and Coles in Perth suburbs are very empty. Cannot get pet food, dairy like butters and yoghurts, UHT milk, cans of beans, potato or corn chips , cereals etc.... Fruit and Veggies are well stocked as we grow most of it here anyway. If we shop local instead of the big chains everything is well stocked.
    IGA's and Aldi are okay but only just. Yes Woolworths are sending a ship over but also the state govt are loading up trucks with 3 trailers and getting food over that way too. All because of storms that flooded the railway lines somewhere between SA and WA and throw in some covid low supplies too. Its not good. Ahlyia

    1. Dear Ahlyia, I am sorry with my slow reply to you. I am glad you can shop local and get what you need.
      Poor WA was hit by several things at once as you say. When the rail went out I was hardly able to believe it. These things show us how the supply chain can just be cut! Thank you Ahlyia, love Annabel.xxx

  29. I am in Lismore where it is the worst flood in history happening right now. I am on high ground and safe. The ceiling is leaking in a couple of places, and we haven’t had power for nearly 7 hours with no idea when it will come back on. Compared to others I am lucky! I have this to say about preparedness, I’ve done some things well and some not so well...

    What Ive done well at...plenty of matches, plenty of food (literally canned 8 jars of chilli con carne yesterday) I have a battery operated radio (godsend keeping up with the news) I have a gas stove which is able to be lit with a match (normally has an electric ignition) without the gas stove I wouldn’t be able to heat water or food. I have a full tank of fuel (I always stay topped up, no matter what price I have to pay for the fuel)

    What I can do better...I only have a few candles, I should have stocked up on these a long time ago. I think I need more old towels/tea towels, I’m running out mopping up drips etc and can’t easily wash and dry them, I don’t have any raincoats and one umbrella was broken, just leaving us two 🤷‍♀️ We had to check on friends who are watching water levels very closely and got drenched.

    These are just the immediate things I can think of.

    OMG sorry literally just heard on the news they are expecting power to be out for 7 days...so my freezer!!! I have no backup for the freezer 😩

    Gosh what a learning curve, despite reading your blog every week, I didn’t act better, and this is the thing I did worst of all!

    1. Cheryl, we can ALL do things better...just be glad you weren't completely unprepared.

      If you can get dry ice, buy it and pack around your food to help it stay frozen. (When you open the door to do this, take out food you can cook immediately and then don't open it again). Your freezer will stay cold for a couple of days if you don't open it. The fuller the freezer, the longer your food will stay frozen. Also, wrapping the freezer in blankets or quilts will provide insulation and may help keep things colder longer. If your food thaws, depending on your cooking situation and your ability to refrigerate/freeze your food after it is cooked, don't be in a big hurry to throw it away. You may be able to cook at least some of it and re-freeze. Also, take pictures and inventory what you do lose--your homeowner's insurance may cover loss due to an elecricity outage.

      As you think of things you wish you'd done, write them down so you can do them when this is all over. I think the story of Mel's grandmother should inspire you. I hope they are wrong and the electricity comes right back on!

    2. Thank you so much for such wise and practical advice 🙏 the power came on late in the afternoon, which was amazing!!
      I think the radio announcer must have meant no power to the CBD for 7 days, so no food lost, but this is a big lesson indeed!

    3. Cheryl, find out the nearest place to you that you can buy dry ice and post the phone number on the freezer door.

    4. Dear Cheryl, I am so sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I hope that things are improving.. and your power stayed back on! You did many things well! And being on high ground is so good. Cheryl I had worked hard on preparedness... it wasnt until we had a state wide blackout and then we had to evacuate because of fire... that I had real life experiences... and these taught me so much. Make a list of the things you want to put into action as you can. As well as candles look for battery lanterns. torches, book lights and a variety.
      Thank you Maxine also! With love Annabel.xxx

  30. Debby in Kansas USA2 March 2022 at 05:36

    Annabel, did I miss something about your Scout? I've seen no mention of her lately.

    1. Dear Debby, Oh no, Scout is fine! Sometimes it is just a case of what photos I have that I think are ok! I will try to get Scout in again soon! Thank you for checking! Love Annabel.xxx

  31. Thank you for sharing Mel's Grandmother's story! I started with soap this week! I gathered all my drug store/pharmacy coupons, prayed before I left, and wound up with 32 bars for 10 dollars! I added this to my stockpile, because I looked up the average usage of a bar per person. (It's one bar per person per month.) For my big household, that's quite a bit of soap in a year's time! Also, I'm learning how to grow from seed this year. I normally stink at gardening, but it's a skill....and I'm determined to learn how to grow food! I did a big grocery trip and stocked up as well. I think just with those things, it's been a successful week. There's so much going on in the world that I'm thankful for those wins. We have to stay busy bodily and in prayer!

    1. Dear Stacy, Soap is great to store. It smells good, doesn't take up much space and lasts. In a bad time it will be so sought after. Also you did well with a great price! I agree... we can improve at gardening. We have to keep trying. I always bought seedlings... still do but now I also have seed trays full of things I am growing from seed as well! You did well! Each week of we do something it really adds up! Sorry about my slow reply! With love Annabel.xxx


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