Feather your Nest Friday, 15th April. 2022. Good Friday.

Good Friday reminds me that as black as things look God will have the victory.  Thank goodness we know this. 

Some of the ways I feathered or nest and built up the pantry this week were:

I had the dehydrator on the job every day.   More apples, tomatoes and herbs were added to the shelves.

I found more jars!  So I have plenty to go on with and plenty of lids.  I do need to buy some clips.

This week I focused mainly on dried fruits.   Here I have jars of Sultanas and others of mixed dried fruit that I use in cakes.

I need to get the step ladder out to put these up and get some empty jars down.  It is so satisfying to see these jars full.

This week I took eggs to both swap tables.  I came home with tomatoes and a small Lavender bush plant.

I made a big batch of Enchilada sauce and then several trays of Enchiladas.  They fed us for two nights, Chloe's household for a night and a nice ready meal into the freezer.  My new freezer is filling with ready to go meals.  

More apples were cooked and frozen.  Some were eaten throughout the week as well.

Another container went into use as a planter.   This is a heavy cast iron box that was from a mine.  I don't know how it ended up down here but we found it in a shed.  It is pretty big too.   I planted it with Swiss Chard that I have coming up as it was self sown.  It has germinated too close together so digging some up and moving it I will get much better plants.  There are so many I think I will dig some tiny ones up to grow a bit then take them to the swap table.

My plants are barely visible!  But I will show them again in a few weeks!

I also planted Broad Beans and Garlic. 

Andy was cleaning up fallen trees and making bon fires ready to light after it rains. 

The good wood is cut up for firewood but the rest will go on the bon fire.

My Thai Basil and Sweet Basil are going really well.  

Also I am harvesting lettuce every day now.

The whole key to Lettuce for me has been to not have it on the ground.  No snails or bugs have attacked it high off the ground in my raised beds.   It has been fantastic!    I do not have a green thumb.   If I showed you all the dead stuff I have produced you would agree!  But I keep going.  I try something else.  I have gardening friends to ask and encourage me.  I have to thank Jane who shares with me photos and progress in her own garden.  I could see she had awesome results with container gardening and that got me ready to try it.  It seemed crazy at first as I have a lot of ground and space.  But in containers you can control the soil and keep the tree roots out as well.  So far I have done about 100x better since I started filling big containers! 

I filled the chicken nesting boxes with fresh hay.  I collect the soft broken up stuff from the hay shed floor. A nice thick layer keeps eggs clean and stops them from getting broken.  If a hen goes broody I have found a deep nest, where the eggs cannot roll away,  gets the best results.  

So it was a week of keeping at it and it was lovely.   Don't underestimate the enormous value of consistency and keeping at it!  

Have a wonderful Easter,  I hope you can spend it with those you love, bless others and stay safe. xxxx


  1. A good productive week for you Annabel. I can't germinate anything in the garden, I have to sow everything indoors otherwise it gets eaten by slugs. This week has seen more sowing and it will continue for the foreseeable future. I managed to get seeds for Chinese leaf, which is one of the few salad leaves that I like, to my utter amazement they are ready in 8-10 weeks so I plan on sowing a few every couple of weeks or so.
    This week's roadside find was...an orchid! Poor thing had finished flowering so had been left to die in the overnight frost, but it's come home with me for a little tlc.
    I had a small harvest of rhubarb, exciting for 2 reasons, firstly it's the first ever harvest from this plant and secondly my first homegrown produce this year. I baked it with some ginger to go on my breakfast porridge.
    My doorstep milk delivery went up to £1.05 a pint, so I have cancelled it. I bought a 2.5kg tin of milk powder, which doesn't save massive amounts of money, but it's longer lasting and more adaptable, I've already made condensed milk with it.
    I did more batch cooking for the freezer; allium and potato soup and mirepoix.
    I am seeing gaps in the fruit and veg aisle in every supermarket I visit. There doesn't seem to be any one thing that's missing from them all, just big empty spaces and nothing at all left if you visit in the evening.
    I am actually becoming scared to switch on appliances due to the cost of electricity. Even the slow cooker is expensive to run. I am obsessively checking my usage, every day. I never dreamed that coming up to 60 and still working that I would be scared to switch on an appliance. And there's worse to come, electricity prices rise again in October by 50 percent.
    Hope everyone has a lovely Easter and a good week to follow.

    1. Dear Su, I hope that orchid rewards you with many flowers in the future!
      You achieved a lot! Very nice to have rhubarb with your breakfast.
      Well even here so far away we have big gaps in the produce department. A lot of the produce has looked bin really old and stale. And the electricity... we have that issue too. From what I am seeing the combined increases in food and electricity and fuel for vehicles... people cant afford all of them. No I never dreamed this could happen but the world has a shortage of them all. Here in Australia they actually knocked over power plants. Blew them up! So we have to be very thoughtful about how we do things.
      Powdered milk is very handy to have. Even if you buy some fresh milk you an stretch it further with powdered milk too.
      Have a very happy Easter! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. What? Who blew up your power plants?

    3. Hi Anne the companies and the gov both want no more power plants. All those that signed up to net zero mean to get rid of all coal plants. They build wind farms... which dont work when there is no wind, when its hot, when it is too windy. They did not keep the coal bases plants for emergencies or anything like that they actually blew them up. ie dynamite. World wide there is now a fuel/power and now food issues. Those in charge of this fly luxury jets and live in mansions and have no care of prices!

  2. Happy Easter Annabel. We are having some beautiful Autumn weather here.
    I brought home some pears and kiwi fruit from work yesterday that was donated to us. My partner loves pears. We shared some of the fruit with my parents today.
    Your jars look so good with all the fruit stored in them.
    Gosh the tractor has been a wonderful investment buy. It would have made light work of moving your new garden bed into place.
    We are going to my cousin's on Sunday for her annual Easter lunch. I am going to take home made garlic bread and a gf quiche. We always have a lot of fun when we all get together.
    Today we had a belated birthday lunch for my brother at mum and dad's. Mum provided a lovely lunch but wouldn't let me bring anything.
    The rest of the weekend will be spent doing jobs here at home. I really need to paint our new window frame in the bedroom so plan a trip to Bunnings to get what I need tomorrow.
    Happy Easter everyone. I hope you are all safe and well and my best wishes to you.

    Mandy (NZ)

    1. Dear Mandy,
      Your Easter sounds lovely! Beautiful lunches with your family!
      It was great to get the Pears and Kiwi fruit. Home projects over the long weekend sound good too. I love getting things done! You have a good balance of get togethers and time at home. I am picking celery as that is next in the dehydrator and we have a family get together at Chloe's tomorrow afternoon which I am really looking forward to! With much love Annabel.xxx

  3. What a great week you had Annabel!

    Container gardening is great idea especially for keeping tree roots out! I love the big metal box you used for a garden bed. I would love to know the mix of soil you use to grow your veggies in? I need to get my soil mix right, some beds are good but others struggle.

    My garden is looking good with the mild to warm weather we are having. I planted out some broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, silver-beet and baby spinach seedlings yesterday and we had a sprinkling of rain overnight so that gave them a bit of a boost. I am picking dragon fruit, pineapple guavas, big tomatoes, small tomatoes, capsicum, spring onions, leeks, basil. This week my garlic will go in.

    I picked more beetroot and Dad gave me a heap of tomatoes, so I whizzed them up in 420gm packs and froze them. I will use these in place of tin tomatoes in recipes. It makes a meal so much more delicious! Dad also gave me cucumbers and zucchinis. I made a yummy zucchini bread this morning.

    Wishing you a wonderful productive next week and a beautiful Easter weekend.

    Lots of love,
    Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania,
      Because I have a heap of compost left over from when we topped the garden beds with it this has mainly filled my containers. It was a rich mix that I had delivered ages ago. Then the top few incase of each container I added a premium potting mix. Each item planted gets a handful of blood and bone. This has worked really well, the best results I have ever had, at least so far!
      I am glad to hear your Dad is still busy in his garden! This is great. And so helpful too!
      We didnt get any rain! We really are needing some. You are harvesting heaps!! Just beautiful. Have a very happy Easter! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Thank you for the tips Annabel xxx

  4. Ohh, Annabel, you made me smile with no green thumb when you accomplish so much but that is a true example of what can be done when one is determined to succeed. Wll done!!!
    We kept on working in the garden and planted 5 plum trees - now the orchard is ready and so nicely planted in lines . I can not wait to see them in bloom and of course picking the fruits. It is still cold here and not much planting done. Just some chited potatoes but in containers and well covered. The compost will be ready and started a new batch, also added the straws and natural fertilizer/poo from our rabbit. We have the first narcissus and wild violets timidly blooming and tulips on the promise line.
    Enjoying some calm, peaceful spring days in my family and take them as the biggest gift so far this year. Getting ready for Holy Easter and praying for everybody, for health, for peace, for love.

    Happy Easter Annabel and dear Bluebirds, from Laura_s_world in Romania.

    1. Dear Laura,
      Oh so good that you got your plum trees in. I have heard that rabbit manure is one of the best for the garden so that is great. I hope you have peace and safety, I am thinking of you and praying. Have a very happy Easter. With love Annabel.xxx

  5. You grow beautiful things! I try not to even look at plants because I might kill them lol. my husband takes care of all our plants. He even comes to water the plants he gave me for my office at work. You did good this week. Have a Happy Easter!

    1. Dear Kathy, It is so good your husband is good with gardening. Have a beautiful Easter to you too, with love Annabel.xxx

  6. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    What a gorgeous bunch of herbs and dried fruit!

    This week we built our raised garden beds, took apart the old ones, and did a good cleanup of the backyard areas around the herbs and fig tree. (I let the plants go to seed and leave them over winter, then clean up in spring.) My lemon balm is coming back beautifully and smells so good. We also picked up more garden soil to fill the beds and my pots, all ready for planting this weekend! I sowed saved zinnia and sunflower seeds, and the blackberry canes are flowering and looking much better now - I was a little afraid we might have lost some in that windstorm.

    Cooing-wise, I did a big baking day (bread, hamburger buns, three kinds of muffins, single-serve oatmeal cups, spaghetti sauce) and filled up the freezer again. We use the bread and muffins every day for work lunches and snacks. Ingredients came from the pantry. The crockpot has really been a lifesaver for making extra dinners to heat up during the week.

    Crafting-wise, I finished two cross-stitch projects (a hummingbird design and a small Xmas ornament with a bluejay), finished 1 pair of socks, and have been working away at a shawl, a sweater, and a pair of socks. Thinking about getting gifts ready, I'd like to pull out my beads and make some jewelry for the ladies in my life, and do a batch of soap soon.

    Price-wise, gas is back up around $4.19 in my part of Oklahoma, eggs have gone up quite a lot in price, and chicken is still expensive and sometimes sold out, but Aldi had a great price on butter ($1.97 a pound) - so if you have an Aldi, it is worth checking!

    I hope everyone has a good weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      I like the sound of the cross stitches both being birds!
      You achieved so much in the garden! I dont understand how plants can survive the snow! But it is so good that things come back up again! Your Easter plans sound wonderful to me. Great to have the extra soil too. Ive had a heap of compost here, left over from past projects and it is so handy. When I find myself another container to grow in I have that soil.
      I hope you get everything planted and off to a good start.
      Your baking sounds beautiful and the single serve cups... I like this! I love single serve... grab and go things. You have a stack of crafts going! Your gift cupboard will be looking very good! I hope you get to make soap. That is on my list too!
      Have a beautiful Easter! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Annabel, what a lovely post! And you reminded me to ask a question. The last time I roasted a turkey, I made a 2-crust turkey pie and froze it before baking. When I baked it last night (thawed first) most of the crust was soggy. I mean SOGGY! Does anyone have any suggestions? My own idea is to freeze the filling, thaw, and make the pie with refrigerated crusts on the day I want to eat it. The problem with this is that my husband can't just pull the pie from the freezer and bake it. Also, I was afraid the filling might be dry, so I made a packet of turkey gravy mix to spoon over...but the filling was actually quite moist. We did scrape it out from the crust!

    Also, I meant to compliment you last week on your sweet pea afghan. Beautiful!

    The biggest and best thing that happened this week--frugal and otherwise--was having a bone density scan and learning that the injections I have been taking for osteoporosis for the last year have worked!! My bone density has returned to normal, meaning I no longer have active osteoporosis! This happened after one year of treatment--I was expecting two years. I spent $10,000 for this treatment and another year would have meant at least another $7,000 in drug co-pays. Plus I no longer have to give myself daily shots in the abdomen (which don't hurt if I do it right...but, still). I will be having yearly infusions for a couple of years, but it sure beats what I've been doing. This treatment was well worth the effort and expense! My MIL had severe osteoporosis, a dowager hump and several broken bones. I definitely do not want to endure what she did.

    I bought $21 worth of eye drops and Nsaids for $0 with the over-the-counter benefit from my Medicare Advantage plan.

    We are adding shelves to our master bedroom closet. I set up sawhorses in the garage and painted the shelving. I primed it with leftover Kilz and used a $6 sample of paint for the topcoat. The samples at Miller Paint (a NW regional brand in the US) are full quarts!

    I dug up a piece of my friend Betsy's bleeding heart and transplanted it in my garden. I saw bleeding hearts--smaller than this one--for $18. Just for fun, I'm trying to start another bleeding heart from a cutting. ???

    I did my federal and state taxes using H&R Block software, $aving a bunch on prep fees. I filed the federal return online but had to mail my Idaho form. I made photocopies at Office Max because my printer is so slow and probably more expen$ive per page. I recycled an ink cartridge for $2 credit while I was there...and found another one when I got home.

    Update on the microwave--We ordered a Sharp from Lowe’s for $229, which was $70 less than it was the day before (just luck that I procrastinated ordering it). That’s the good news. The bad news is that we spent $203 trying to chase down the problem, first with an electrician and then an appliance repair guy. (Everyone, including the electrician, initially thought the problem was electrical). The appliance guy advised us to buy a new one, since replacing 3 switches and the door latch would cost about the same. It is installed over the range. Our friend Colton, who is a handyman, is going to take care of this Tuesday for about $50. Lowe’s charges $120 and up to install.

    I bought a butt ham for .79 lb., sour cream .99 pint, and butter $1.99 lb. I still have two stores to shop for items not on sale at the other store. The prices are good enough that it is worth it to shop around this week.

    Big surprise--we awoke to snow this morning! We always get snow in April, but it's normally an inch or two and gone by lunchtime. There was 6 inches of snow on the ground when I got up at 6:30 a.m., and 2-1/2 hours later, it is still snowing hard. Most unusual!

    I hope you have all had a fun and frugal week with a blessed Easter ahead. Any ideas about the crust of the turkey pie will be appreciated!

    1. Dear Maxine,
      I bake pies and freeze pretty often but I always cook them, maybe a little lightly so they dont brow too much the second time around. The crisp up fine so I am thinking dont freeze unbaked... bake then freeze. This works for me so I hope it will work for you.
      I am so glad your bone density is good! That is a great result!
      I love Bleeding hearts! It is years since I had one. So lovely.
      Your home projects sound great and you also got some very good deals! Have a wonderful Easter! With love, Annabel.xxx

    2. Thanks, Annabel! I'll try that next time!

  8. Happy Easter!

    We kept the canner going with chicken. I had been looking for chicken to can for many weeks so when I checked online and found it in stock we jumped in the car and went to get it. We did 12 jars of chicken breasts and froze two large packs of thighs to can later. Now we are at the lake house for eleven days. We enjoyed a picnic on the grounds of a historic church yesterday which was just wonderful.

    1. Dear Lana, I love a picnic! Well done on canning the chicken! I am hearing a lot about shortages and prices... so putting some up is a great thing to be doing right now!
      Have a very happy Easter, with love Annabel.xxx

  9. Hello Annabel and ladies, i have been canning meat!! I got some great nuys on hams so the pressure cooker is getting a workout again. Many blessings to you and your family Annabel I hope you have a wonderful Easter♡

    1. Dear Gaila,
      Ham will be wonderful to have on your shelves. Have a very happy Eaer to you too! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Hi Annabel and Bluebird Friends.
    Annabel the new container is beautiful. I must send you a photo of the succulent, Naked Lady, I have growing out of our cast iron copper. What a wonderful new life your planter is going to have. I love taking old and no longer useful and giving it a new life.
    I picked up two commercial made raised beds, on a super special, this week. One is half full of cardboard, paper, logs, dirt build up out of the chook yard and a full barrel of compost. I plan on getting a couple bales of cane hay, some cheap potting mix and some manure to finish off the bed. It should be ready for planting into, when my current batch of seedlings are ready to be planted out. The second commercial planter will have to wait a little bit. I need to get another barrel of compost going to help fill the bed. Being patient and taking time to do this, makes the whole gardening process affordable. My little greenhouse had seeds trays put in it, a week ago. Most are up and doing really well. I am in love with this little garden helper.
    I finished off GD Maddy's, kitty cat sleeping bag. This is for her fourth Birthday, in two weeks time. Spencer found it yesterday and was very happy snuggle into it and roll all over it. If his reaction is anything like Maddy's, it is going to be a winner.
    Our quilting group is making wheelie walker bags. These are being donated to one of the local nursing homes, where one of our member's husband lives. They are a quick make and so appreciated by the recipients.
    Being in the sub tropics, it is coming into our main gardening season. I have been busy harvesting what was in the garden beds, amending the soil in the beds with a new layer of compost, worm castings and a layer of mulch hay. I have been planting more seeds and planting out previous seeds trays. So far I have lost a few lettuce and coriander, due to a really hot, humid spell. Everything else is looking so good. The days are still really warm, but the nights are cooling down significantly. It is my busy outdoors season.
    Have a wonderful week everyone.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I think you will fit a lot into each of those new beds. Im pretty sure Chloe has the same ones. Also I hope compost, soil etc come your way, you never know. Either way I know you will get them both filled over time. The sleeping bag is a gorgeous gift Maddy is going to love it.
      It is a busy season in the garden for you. We can plant but things slow down. I have plenty to harvest through and Im trying to keep up with that and make the most of each thing that has been a success. In the past I have failed there as I will be so excited to have things look good that I miss the best time to pick them! I have to tell you what I did... I ordered an egg incubator!! This will be interesting! Hope you have a great new week, with love Annabel.xxx

  11. Dear Annabel,
    Loved seeing all your produce. How nice you got a lavender plant. I just love the smell of lavender. It always reminds me of when I first read the Anne of Green Gables books and asked my grandparents what it was.My strawberries and asparagus plants arrived as well as my two thorn-less roses. They are an heirloom called Zéphirine Drouhin. They will be planted the middle of next week. I hope you and your family have a Happy and blessed Easter. Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura, I got my Lavender plated out today. I LOVE Anne of Green Gables. Your roses, strawberries and asparagus will probably be planted by now. You are the second to mention Asparagus... I am thinking to plant some!
      Thanks so much Laura, with love Annabel.xxx

  12. Blessings to you and your family this Easter Annabel 🙏

    I too planted my garlic patch this week. 60 big fat cloves in a raised bed! That will give us an abundance of garlic if all goes well.

    I cut back my sage plant as it was getting very leggy, and I have sage hanging to dry, in a few week I will have a heap of dried sage to use or give away.

    We are still baffling Covid in our house, my husband has it now, our other son and myself are fine so 🤞

    Have a lovely week Annabel. I look forward to seeing what you get up to once again 😊

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      I hope your Garlic does well. I will be watching for mine to come up. Garlic is such an important thing I always want a supply.
      Hope your family and better... and rid of Covid once and for all! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Hello Annabel and Bluebirds. Tractor Man Andy will be in his element, preparing for bonfire season! I love your big planter - what a find!

    Autumn seems to have arrived so suddenly this year. This week I preserved the last of the summer garden produce, the beetroot. I admit I felt some relief, as well as a little sense of achievement at the number of filled jars on the laundry shelves, and the freezer, which is absolutely full. The winter vegetables are babies yet, but coming on nicely, and it is lovely to see the new crop of lemons almost ready.

    I am halfway through knitting a sleeveless vest for my daughter-in-law's birthday. I heard her mention that she would like one, and slotted the thought away in my mind. I chose a deep magenta wool, which I think she will like, and I'm really enjoying working with such a gorgeous colour. Most things I knit are with my own homespun wool, but a girl can only have so much of browns and greys!

    My herbs have done so well. I used your idea of burying parsley seed heads, and sure enough, I had a wonderful crop of seedlings come up. I need to harvest the lemon verbena now. I dry and crush the leaves, mix them with some dried lavender, and sew up little sachets, which I put in all my shoes, especially the out-of-season ones. It keeps them fresh. The sachets make good gifts too.

    Wishing you and your readers a peaceful, happy Easter, and a productive week to come.
    Linda in NZ

    1. Dear Linda,
      We do love a bonfire! I cant wait!
      Your produce on the shelves sounds beautiful and yes it is a great feeling!!
      The magenta vest sounds just beautiful!! What a lovely gift! I am so happy hearing of your homespun wool. Nan was a great spinner and knitter. These are good memories for me.
      I am so glad you had Parsley come up this way! You can never have too much Parsley!
      Sachets are a very nice gift. Your herbs are a great asset! I hope you had a lovely Easter, with love, Annabel.xxx

  14. Dear Annabel,

    You make me laugh with your "no green thumb" comments, as all gardeners have successes and failures each year! You always seem to have something thriving, so that would make you have a "green thumb" in my book! But I'm so glad your container gardening is going so well. My seedlings are getting a little leggy, as usual...it's still over a month till most of them can go outside, so it's always a battle to keep them from getting too spindly before they go out. It's either that or too small to be transplanted outside, so I just deal with legginess. :)

    This has been a busy week...lots of services for Holy Week, which have been so wonderful and much needed in this day and age. Also cut hubby's hair, made cream eggs, malted milk eggs, and peanut butter crunch eggs for Easter treats, made bread, did some more birthday sewing, made yogurt and rendered some lard from a bag of pork fat in the freezer (and splattered hot fat on my face while trying the cracklings...yipes! Thank goodness for aloe vera plants in the house...the skin blistered, but is healing nicely. All those warnings about hot fat are wisely given!). Hubby bottled a batch of Shiraz today (so we can have vintage wine for Easter dinner...ha, ha! Hubby says, "The 15th was a good day" vs. year! :)), and he's out pruning the apple trees right now. Your dehydrated apples will be wonderful for you this winter!

    We are looking forward to a joyous and blessed Easter morning, and are wishing you and your family (and all Bluebirders!) the same! Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      It sounds like you had a beautiful Easter! Hot fat burns terribly. Hope you are all healed well.
      Shiraz sounds beautiful, I am so impressed. I hope your seedings are doing well and you can soon be confident in the weather to plant them. It will be exciting to begin the garden again! You are going to be very busy! With much love, Annabel.xxx

  15. I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts and Annabel and everyone seem to be making such good progress on gardens, etc. I love when old things are repurposed like your new planter, Annabel!

    I was pleased this spring to see asparagus volunteer along our back yard fence line. I plan to tend to that carefully as asparagus is my favorite vegetable. I've learned that is one plant that is a heavy feeder so our crop was better this year after liberal doses of compost and fertilizer. I still plan to plant sweet corn and okra but it's been a slow process getting the plots ready. Oh, we have 3 new baby chicks. I'm always amazed at how well the mother hens take care of their babies with no help from me at all.

    A new thing I'm trying this year is starting new fruit trees from cuttings. My two large jars of attempted pineapple vinegar production failed and I'm not sure why. I think I'll stick with apples for my next batch.

    My daughter and her husband are coming for Easter tomorrow so we are looking forward to a visit. I baked peanut butter cookies and will serve chicken spaghetti, green beans and garlic bread. Easy peasy.

    I wish everyone a blessed Easter and a lovely week.

    1. Dear Pam,
      I just love repurposing too! I am keeping an eye out for more containers still but I really liked this cast iron one.
      I might look into planting asparagus. We love it. I thought it is tricky... but you have encouraged me.
      Good luck with the fruit tree cuttings! I hope they work well. I have started Figs from branches that were on the ground and they took root... so I snipped them off and dug the roots up... most were successful.
      Your Easter sounded lovely! I hope you had a beautiful day! With love Annabel.xxx

  16. John was given a tray of tomato plants. I counted a dozen. I think two are very spindly and won't make a plant but I'm going to need to transplant tomatoes this week into containers. I was wondering if I should try gardening this year and I guess I am!

    Earlier this week I went to a grocer that was having very good sales. The store sent me coupons on items and one was for a free package of smoked sausage. Some were for items that went on sale last week and were already good buys making them better buys. The store was well stocked on the items that I wanted and I was very grateful for it.

    On Wednesday we were in Aldi and most items were in stock. Are prices higher? A bit in many areas and a good bit in some areas but there are also some that are lower. However it does not go unnoticed that of all the foods and packaging problems we here of, none seem to affect ice cream, cookies (biscuits), potato chips (crisps) but do affect things like turkey products and in some states chicken (not a problem in our area yet, but this region is high in chicken (and egg) production.

    We had our septic tank pumped out this week. It is good maintenance for it and keeps the tank in good repair.

    We are a one-car family at present due to a circumstance with our daughter's car. The savings in gasoline came just in time for mowing season! We have been super careful to combine errands and appointments and such.

    We've been very careful about food waste here in our household and using all of things, etc. This week I'm not fussing over the little bits of food that I've been saving for the dogs to eat. I'm out of dog food and until I am in town (tomorrow) and can buy more, this will feed the pups just fine. I'm reminded that my grandmother used to make what she called dog bread and gravy to feed her dog if she ran out of food before her grocery funds were refreshed. It was a mixture of oatmeal, cornmeal and flour with eggs and milk. Honestly they were probably eating a lot better with 'dog bread, than they were with dog food!

    I made bread, pizza dough, used bread ends to make croutons.

    I cleared out the buffet in the dining room and found I'd kept a half dozen pairs of 4-5 inch lengths of used candles. I nearly tossed them but then I bagged them up and put away. I felt strongly that if I needed to use candles for lighting I'd be very glad of those previously used candle ends.

    I am going to make time this next week to pull forward some of my older frugal recipes and start incorporating them into our menus once more.

    1. Dear Terri, How nice to be given a tray of tomatoes! I used quite a bit of rice, pumpkin and eggs for the dogs. I can stretch the actual dog food a fair way. It is good to have these alternatives.
      I save candles too! I have a whole boxful of candles left over from a wedding... all were burned for a few hours but have many hours left in them. I saved them all! You never know they could be so handy! Hope the new week has been good... it is flying by here. With love Annabel.xxx

  17. Annabel you are making such good use of your glass fowler bottles to store so much of your sultanas, mixed fruit and apples and they look so attractive stored like that :) . I love your old mine cast iron planter and perhaps give it a spray on the outside with kill rust paint so it doesn't rust or corrode any more and you will have a planter for years to come. Your Thai and sweet basil looks so healthy as do your lettuce and the more things we can produce in our own home the better to save costs.

    Hope you and yours have had a wonderful Easter.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals from scratch.

    Earnings -
    - DH and I earned $320 from mowing lawns for 3 separate people and good that we are gaining more customers. With all the rain we have picked up two more mowing customers whether they will be a permanent job we don't know yet, but good to bring some extra income into the home.

    Finances -
    - Deposited more money into our 3 month emergency fund and into our home maintenance funds.
    - Added more into our gardening and home spare splurge jars for items we may need to purchase for the gardens, for extra fuel or if we feel like a nice meal out together.
    - Paid an extra part payment off our mortgage.

    Purchases -
    - Bought a 4 pk of chicken burgers on markdown from $7 to $4.55 saving $2.45 on usual prices which gave the two of us two meals each.
    - Purchased a 6pk of cadbury chocolate hot cross buns on markdown saving $1.33 on usual prices.
    - On half price specials I purchased 2 x bottles of high strength magnesium and 1 x bottle of multivitamins saving $28.25 on usual prices.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 1.069 kg of green bush bean strike beans saving $26.72 on usual organic prices in the supermarkets. We blanched and froze them for 6 double meal sized portions for the two of us. We also saved pods on the not so green ones to use for planting next season.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .


    1. Dear Lorna, Thank you that is a good idea to treat the cast iron to stop it rusting further.
      It is beautiful you have so many beans! I really love beans. Getting the vitamins on half price is the way to go it is such a big saving per bottle Our chemist had half price running last week. I also buy Magnesium... it helps me with so much but mainly on account of it I not longer get restless legs in bed (which used to drive me CRAZY.)
      Wow on the extra money earned and getting more customers! That is fantastic! I think side line incomes are a very good thing. You are doing so well with your emergency fund and a splurge fund is a good idea! Now and then a splurge is so nice. A great week. With love Annabel.xxx

  18. I always enjoy your posts about the animals and gardening. I'm not able to garden anymore because I have MS and my balance is so compromised. I've fallen 5x in the past couple of years. Thankfully no really serious injury but I'm very aware of how fortunate I have been so I'm extremely careful now & walk with a rolling walker wearing an emergency call button at all times. Dizziness is a constant plague for me now so I enjoy reading about all ya'll do on the internet!

    When I was reading one of the regular blogs I love tonight I read a post that I thought you might like. You may read Leigh's posts now but I wanted to be sure because you two seem like such kindred spirits! Here is a link to her latest post on chickens and compost! I wish I could rush right out and buy both! LOL!! Somehow I can't quite make my mind understand the limits of my health. I admit that I don't try to hard to do that but my old body takes care of it for me when I get up to walk! So I sit back down at my computer and consider my fortunate to have access to such a world. Check it out if you would like to read it! I think you will enjoy it very much! https://www.5acresandadream.com/2022/04/alternative-feeds-for-chickens.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

    1. Dear Imsovintage, Thank you I am going to go and watch this video tonight! I love having something new to watch!
      I am sorry about your MS. Falls are not good at all so any way you can prevent another one is worth it.
      I am glad you enjoy the blog , thank you so much! With love Annabel.xxx


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