Feather your Nest Friday, 22nd April, 2022.

I hope you had a very Happy Easter with family and friends.  I really had a bit of a rest.    For a couple of days I did the animals and garden and not a thing more.  I needed a break.   On Sunday Chloe went to a lot of trouble for an afternoon tea for us and for Mum,  (her Nana.)   It was beautiful!

It was a lovely afternoon! 

After a few days break I was ready to fire up again.   

I was planning to include some lists of headlines I saw this week from the world wide news.   In the end I had too many and gave up.   But as an example "Soaring food and fuel prices tip countries over the edge."
We are all affected.    This is the time to use all we have learned,  put everything to very good use, be inventive, be wise and be alert!  

I filled more of my big jars.  This week I did rolled oats and quick oats.  

I was given Quinces!   Some were stewed and the rest made me much more Quince Paste.  Some will be given as gifts.

I harvested Celery and dehydrated it.

The Basil was huge again so I made more Pesto.  Some for meals and a batch frozen.

We had plenty of eggs each day.

I worked through more apples and made delicious puree. 

The goats, parrots and chickens all had a share of cores and peels.

Tomorrow two dozen eggs will go to the swap tables.  Also I dug up and transplanted lots of self sewn seedlings.  I thought they are Chard... now I'm wondering if they are Beetroot?  Either are possible as I had both go to seed.   This tray is for the swap table but until I know for sure I am keeping them then I will label them.  If you know tell me what you think?

I have been trying to find solutions for gardening problems.   The container gardens solved many of them. But moths get to my Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflowers.   In the cheap shop they had waste paper baskets with a fairly fine mesh...  I made six into covers for my young Broccoli I am trying to get started.

I glued on knobs from my craft stash to make them look more like a cloche.   

I really like them,  I hope they work, they were $2 each.    As my plants grow bigger (hopefully) I have a second scheme to put into place....

We cleaned out and added fresh hay to two chicken coops.    Then I moved hens to pair up with roosters.   One pair seem to like each other just fine.     
They are not even the same type of Bantam but they are the closest I have! 

I ended up calling this Rooster Romeo because he is pretty cool.  

However the other pair... the hen cannot stand the rooster and spends her time up on a perch as far away from him as she can get.   If things don't improve by tomorrow I will rescue her and try another hen.   It seems to have been a case of hate at first sight. 

We had a few events.   The worst was I had a call from Chloe "Mum can you come right away Luke needs to go to the hospital..."   I grabbed my handbag and went out the door.    Baby Thomas was asleep in his cot and Luke had put his finer though the log splitter.   As I drove in they drove out.    So Thomas and I had an afternoon together as Luke had x rays and so on.   In the end he needed surgery and had four breaks in one finger.  I think he is lucky to still have his finger to be honest.   So we all helped as there was Ralph the calf and the dogs and things to look after.  Mum and I both cooked meals and delivered them because of long days and lots of travel for both Chloe and Luke.   My supplies and freezer proved their worth, it was easy to deliver pumpkin soup, tuna mornay and cooked apples with what I had on hand.

Tomorrow I am going to pick up Harper and Scarlett to come stay for a few days.   I will be so glad to have this time with them.

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your home, add to your pantry or garden?  Be  as busy as a bee and hard working as an Ant! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel. I hope that Mr Rooster and Miss Bantem get over their dislike of each other. Perhaps she is just playing a little game of hard to get. The other two make for quite an adorable couple. Their chicks are going to look seriously cute if they are even half as fluffy as their Dad.
    I bought some quince paste just to see if I liked it. Have to say that it was rather yummy. However I still prefer my guava paste. One day I might be able to get some quince and have a go at making the paste.
    I have been getting items made, ready for the silent auction, that is the major fundraiser at our Spinners and Weavers camp. I have made a couple of craft totes and two sets of an apron, non slip mat for spinning wheel, and a wool roving bag. They turned out rather pretty.
    The garden is coming along and we are eating well from it. Tonight we had sweet potato frittata. The only item not from our chooks or the garden was the milk and cheese.
    This week, I cleaned out a cupboard and found an old breadmaker. Bluey and I cant remember if we have ever used it since moving here. I tried it out, but the element didnt work. Bread was something that we ran out of here during the Jan and the Feb floods. Bluey has decided that I need a new breadmaker and Mothers day is coming up. This is one hole in the pantry that is going to be plugged.
    On Monday,, for ANZAC Day we will be heading to our first Dawn Service since 2019.
    They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.
    Lest we forget.

    1. Dear Jane,
      The hen never came around. She would sit up high on her perch and starve rather than be near that rooster. In the end I felt sorry and took her out and put her in with another rooster. She liked this one ok and we are all happy!
      You had a really productive week! I am glad you could attend the dawn service in person. Lest we Forget. With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Dear Annabel, what a breathtakingly beautiful afternoon tea. Wishing Luke a speedy recovery! I am always so inspired by your ability to find solutions that are creative and pretty.

    In my bathroom I have a little shelf that is too tiny for most toiletries. It had me stumped for a while, but this week I finally found a use for the shelf! I bought two mini spray bottles and filled them with my favourite homemade cleaners. The shelf is now so useful and it makes me smile whenever I see it.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend with Harper and Scarlett.

    With love from,
    Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

    1. Dear Kelly, Thank you so much. I like your use for your little shelf! We did have a lovely time. Now I am having a few days to catch up! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Hi Annabel
    We buy net curtains from the charity shops and drape them over crops that are attacked by moths or birds, we hold them off the crop by suspending them over the topic wooden stakes or peg them with clothes pegs to wires. This might help with protecting your crops.

    1. Dear Penny,
      I am collecting nylon and nets now! They do need to be pegged or secured as we can get some windy days. But I am determined to beat the bugs~ Thank you so much! love Annabel.xxx

  4. As always a lovely post Annabel.

    It must be the week for injuries. Last Saturday {Easter} we had to rush Dad to Adelaide {RAH} because he chopped his left ring finger off at the bendy joint. Similar to Luke, he was cutting wood with his circular saw when he had a mishap with a piece of baling twine that he was using on the clutch. It grabbed his finger and ripped it clean off. I was so stressed that he could do this at 85 years of age. But he, in real farmer Dad style, drove himself to the local hospital and then they asked us to drive him to Adelaide asap. He is so tough! Its all been patched up but he did lose his finger so he has to relearn how to do things without it. We didn't get home until late Monday afternoon.

    I like the bin idea over the veggies. I use those little fold out food covers over mine to keep the moths at bay. We have a lot of insects this year after such a wet summer.

    Chloe did a wonderful job with her Easter afternoon tea. It is all so very pretty.

    Our Easter didn't happen this year, but I am very thankful that my Dad is okay and that it wasn't something a whole lot worse.

    Much love to you,
    Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, Oh no your poor Dad! I hope he is doing ok. What a fright you must have had. And him! Oh. my goodnesss WHY didnt I think of the food covers!! They would be just right. I will watch the cheap stores for them. Genius Tania! I really hope your Dads finger is healing. With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Dear Annabel,
    Your trash can covers with knobs are so pretty. What a wonderful idea. You are so very creative and industrious. I am glad you took two days of rest (as much as possible anyway). You work so hard daily.

    I had a CT scan the beginning of the week. The rest of the week I did small jobs focusing on food storage ( orders), updating the books that contain important numbers and addresses, cut out some pajamas to sew up, vacuum sealed some food stores, cleaned, went through papers, dehydrated spinach and oranges and did some planning. I have a blood draw today and an appointment. It was a good week as I didn't push myself and had some time to plan ahead.

    Our weather has been odd as it has everywhere. We had 72 F degrees yesterday and tomorrow a snow storm/blizzard is forecast with eight inches of snow.

    There is do much happening in the world it is hard to keep up or cover one area. Food shortages, inflation, crop failures, no food, no fertilizer, gasoline prices, war, etc. It is amazing that some people are still in the dark as to what is happening.

    Food, water and supplies in the house is a practical and wise investment. Money in the bank can be stolen by governments or lost due to crashes. Everyone seems to be struggling with where to safely keep savings.

    Have a wonderful and restful weekend.

    1. Dear Glenda, I feel the weather chopping one thing to the other is bad for illnesses. Not good at all. You achieved a lot! Those in the dark at this point I think just want to be. It would be blissful to be ignorant however not in the end! Thank you for your words on banks and wise investments. I do not feel money in the bank is safe at all. Our gov quietly brought in Bail ins as well. We grew up believing the banks were safe. The bail in laws means we may not be bailed out after all. Yikes. Personally I have zero trust left for the government! Well done on all you achieved. With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Hello Annabel, Heike here :-). I love your cloches!!!! About the plants: I think these are beetroots. I cannot swear on it. I had beetroots in my garden a few years ago as well. Chard leaves are more wrinkled, I think. About the headlines: you are right. Too many to follow. Thank you for bringing always some positive things into the world through you blog xxx

    1. Hi Heike, Thank you! I made some more cloches and planted some seedlings hoping now for more success. I hope your week has been going well... much more news out there. I think of you with your patchwork and crochet, these nice things are happy and reassuring! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Good grief! What a week. I hope that Luke heals well without complications. Chloe is very obviously her mother's daughter; what a charming Easter tea.
    My guess on the seedlings is beets but whether beets or chard, it is wonderful to get a jump start with volunteer plants.
    Your mesh protection is imaginative and should prove beneficial. I absolutely hate chasing those moths through the garden with a butterfly net. There is a zapper with a light inside that you can buy. You leave it on at night and it attracts bugs and moths that get electrocuted when they land on the screen. Some bugs and moths are beneficial pollinators so it's a toss up for use in the garden.
    I am happy to report that in my part of the world (northern Ontario, Canada), we are not experiencing shortages of anything. Food and fuel prices are rising but there are still opportunities to stock up enough to last to the next sale. I just bought some nice boneless pork loins for $1.98 a pound ($2.14 Australian) from which I'll make sausage, stuffed roasts, etc. Eggs are costing about $3. a dozen, milk runs $5.40 for 4 liters. I can often buy cheddar or mozzarella for 1 cent per gram ($4.50 lb). Gas is $1.84 per liter but we filled up last week plus extra cans at $1.57 a liter. Gas prices seem to fluctuate.
    Our troubles pale in comparison to others who are stuck in the middle of land wars...Ukraine, Palestine, Syria, etc.
    We cannot fix the world's problems but we can make our family and community a kind and beautiful place. You are a wonderful example of that! Hope you find something exciting at the swap tables.

    1. Dear Rita,
      You got some great deals! That is fantastic. Your gas is about the same as ours. Thanks so much... there is so much we can do and I think feathering our nests is beautiful work! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Debby in Kansas USA22 April 2022 at 06:07

    Good morning, Annabel!
    Argh, tool accidents are so scary. Four breaks in one finger is...well, I think you're right about Luke being lucky to keep it. How long does that take to heal? I wish him a quick heal as I can imagine how hard it is to run a ranch with only one hand.

    Chloe's cake and table are absolutely wonderful!! I would be so honored to be a guest at such an event. She has the talent of a professional!

    As for your picky hen, I can completely sympathize with her. Before I found Mr. Right, I was set up on some blind dates with some 'roosters' I couldn't stand to be near either!! I'm sure one of your ladies will find him attractive. Tell Mr. Rooster not to strut so proudly or the ladies might find him to be too cocky!!! Good luck with your matchmaking!

    I tried to order a half sheet cake from a local warehouse store and they aren't taking orders. The bakery lady told me their supply chain is kaput and they have no idea when it might return. The cake is for a church event. Hopefully the chairwoman won't be cross since I can't help it, but I'm making a couple pans of brownies instead. We just need a variety of desserts so it shouldn't matter. Rather than bother her with the details, I'm just going to do it.

    We were hoping to get our tomatoes planted tomorrow, but we're forecast for thunderstorms. That'll need to wait until we can dry out a bit. We need to till and that won't work in the mud!!

    I made a card and embroidered some kitchen towels for a friend's birthday. She said they were too cute to use. I told her that she only gets more if she uses them!

    I'm sure you needed the rest. More often than not those breaks invigorate me and I accomplish more than if I worked straight through.

    Enjoy your week!

    1. Dear Debby, Your gift for your friend sounds just beautiful! It sounds like she thought so too! I hope you were able to get the tomatoes in but it is better to hold off if needed. When I shopped this week both the chemist and the hardware store told me the same about the supply chain. They were both very frustrated. I think your alternative will be very nice. But imagine how these businesses will survive?
      Well.... the hen never relented hating that rooster. I eventually took her out and put her in with another rooster who she thought was ok and has been fine since. He is either ok or ok in comparison to the other one! haha! Luke went to the surgeon again today (Wed.) and he is very please with how his finger is healing... so this is amazing progress. I hope your week is going well, with love Annabel.xxx

  9. That afternoon tea really is beautiful, Chloe certainly has the gift.
    I can't really tell what the seedlings are but could you not have a look at the roots on one? If they're beetroot it should be becoming obvious.
    A rest sounds good but I feel certain that you did some crochet or something whilst resting!
    This week I made nettle and wild garlic pesto and froze some. My freezer is now bulging, I don't think I could get another thing in there.
    I sowed Chinese leaves and they have already germinated.
    I got chocolate for 2p! I bought all they had, unfortunately it was only 5 bars but still...
    I got 2 beautiful block printed throws in a charity shop, brand new, still in the packaging. I think I will use 1 as a throw and the other will be made into cushion covers etc.
    Apart from that my week has been very slow, I still feel weak and tired and have no appetite after being ill a few weeks ago. I am thinking it was covid even though the 2 lateral flow tests I did were negative.
    Have a good week everyone

    1. Dear Su,
      Thank you! I do have a few larger plants the same... I think they are chard now as they are very upright. I havent had the heart to pull one up though.
      The nettle pesto is a fantastic idea. I am on the watch for them... when we get a decent rain we should get some nettles. What a deal on the chocolate!! With your seedlings and charity store buys you had a great week! The covid tests are famous for not being that good... you well may have had covid from the sounds of it. I hope you are feeling much better. With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Stunningly beautiful tea table!

    1. Thanks Anne, Chloe has been amazed how many beautiful comments she got! xxx

  11. So sorry to hear about Luke's accident! So scary - he's fortunate to still have the finger. I wish him a speedy and complete recovery. Wonderful that you took some time to recharge, Annabel - you are so industrious and creative, but it's good to rest some, too. Chloe's tea was lovely and delicious looking. And the bunny plates and placemats were adorable, too.

    I get such a chuckle out of the antics of your chickens. They are so pretty and the eggs are gorgeous, too. Your plants look like beets to me, too. Hubby has started planting his little seed pots to put under the grow lights this week, and we planted several little plots of lettuce in the driest patch of garden yesterday. We're supposed to get more rain or snow tomorrow, so....we'll see.
    Best wishes and enjoy your time with the girls!

    1. Dear Jill, Thank you so much. Lukes finger is really healing well, he saw the surgeon today (Wednesday.). I will update on the chickens on Friday but the hen just kept hating that rooster. The grow lights sound wonderful. I hope some rain arrived too... we are hoping for some we really desperately need it now. With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Dear Annabel,
    The tea looks amazing! I am so glad Luke's injury was no worse than it was and hope it heals quickly. Your time of rest and the visit with your little girls sounds wonderful!
    We had a lovely Easter. Our new great-grandson and his daddy were both baptised on Easter. Our older daughter hosted a little gathering for family and friends to celebrate the baptisms. We gathered with family and friends for dinner together as a tradition that we had not done since COVID. Both of our older granddaughters, their guys and the baby were here, so we have had enjoyed time with them as well as two daughters and son-in-law who live here.
    We are enjoying an assortment of flowers that are blooming--some that we have planted and some that have come up as volunteers from past planting. It is time to thin the irises and canna lilies so others can enjoy them, too. The beautiful purple irises came from my dad, so are extra special. This year, one of my daughters was able to have a pot of them at their home.
    Some friends keep us updated on some of the happenings in Ukraine. We continue praying for peace in our world.
    Our area has been blessed in so many ways! The food pantries continue having an abundance of food to give. My friend and neighbor who has been going regularly has food to share. People on the Buy Nothing Group often list extras from food boxes they have received, from their garden or fruit trees, etc.
    I have been using the dehydrator that I was gifted from the Buy Nothing group to preserve fruits and vegetables for later use.
    Thank you for your beautiful, encouraging post!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, What a wonderful Easter! Baptisms and Easter! Your lilies sound just lovely. This is a great tip about the buy nothing group! Getting a dehydrator was fantastic! This is so good as abundance can be saved for later and take so little room! What a great week! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. What a lovely tea! Even a rest week for you is inspiring! I too had a rest week, but not by choice. I came down with a bad cold, and spent several days in bed, then a few more on light duty! On a light day, I managed to sew a little. I made lavender sachets for mom and mother in law for Mother's day! These are bits of embroidery and lace that were already sewn, and were just turned into pillow shapes and filled with lavender! I also managed to keep tomato seedlings alive for the week! There are 19 of them, but I don't know that they are all going to make it to adulthood! We shall see!
    I got in touch with a local swap group on FB only to realize that they are selling items, not swapping. I'm disappointed, but not sure how to find a real swap table. If I have seedlings that live and more than I can plant, I will need to sell or swap them!
    I'm reading a book called "A Year Without the Grocery store". It's about long term food storage. She addresses seed saving and gardening too. I'm grateful to have it in print because it has recipes for using long term storage items!
    Wishing you the best!
    Xoxo Stacy

    1. Dear Stacy,
      I hope you are feeling much better. Lavender sachets are lovely!
      Also search for a Buy Nothing Group.. Elaine mentioned success with that. I love A Year without a Grocery store... she has a great blog also. These are the kinds of books I enjoy! Hope you are better! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. The cloches are a wonderful idea Annabel, and the addition of a knob, will also help weigh them down so they don’t blow over as easily.

    I haven’t been very productive at all this week, to be honest I’ve been a bit down in the dumps and it has sucked my spark from me. I think I’m turning a corner. May I ask you and your readers, (if you’ve ever experienced it) what strategies do you use to overcome lack of energy/laziness/depression? It might be helpful to get some suggestions, I’m not always this way, it’s just been a funny week.

    Your posts as always lift my spirits and give me encouragement. Have a lovely week.

    1. Cheryl, If this publishes, i would say to try some form of exercise. I tend toward depression, and i do take a mild medication. But, exercise really helps most, i think. Walk the dog, grab a friend and walk, it doesn’t have to be anything truly strenuous. Even a mat on the floor for stretches helps. Do it for you and best to you!

    2. I second the advice regarding exercise - nothing too stressful - just a walk, preferably in nature - it really does help. I think we will all feel a bit better once this Winter is over!

    3. Thank you Debbie. Of course you are right, it is hard when you are flat and unmotivated, but I will try. 🙏

    4. Dear Cheryl, I think we all get like this at times....especially in these times, I certainly do. Firstly I have stopped calling myself lazy in my mind. I have to turn away from the world completely when I get like it. But sometimes there is no fix to push it away quickly, it is a patch of time you just have to get through. From your comments, and the fact you are a bluebird I have a feeling you are always, even when feeling like this, trying, doing little things, and you know what - the little tiny things we do each day are important, even if you only manage one or two. I hope you are already through to the other side when you read this, chin up Cheryl, love Clare. (P.S. Personally I am loathe to admit it, but chocolate does make me feel better).

    5. Hi Cheryl, I recommend having a look at the book "Lost Connections" by Johann Hari if you can find a copy. It's a practical book that walks through the evidence about what causes (and therefore can help) depression. In the meantime, see what you can do to reconnect wth friends, family, and the outdoors.... it's an effort that often seems too hard when things are tough, but which ultimately will often help greatly (along with good diet and exercise of course). Hang in there - sometimes it's enough to get up, get dressed, feed yourself and take one step toward where you need to get to. And many of us have been there. Take care. Missy

    6. Hi Annabel, You've had a busy week! Praying that Luke heals quickly. Thanks for the reminder about safety.... we were heading out to use a similar tool shortly! As to your chickens, I read this week in "Talking Chicken" by Kelly Klober that if the hen doesn't care for the rooster they have the ability to prevent fertilisation of their eggs.... so if you are looking to breed them, I suspect you will need to find a hen that is warmer to the attention of the rooster. That said, I have never had chickens so I don't know this from experience!! Good luck!

    7. Hello Annabel. Chloe's cake is so beautiful! You and your Mum must have felt very special.

      It sounds as if you had another productive week, with satisfying results to show for your efforts. Not so for poor Luke! I hope his finger is healing well.

      We had the best news - our daughter is coming for a visit in August. She lives in Western Australia, and we haven't seen her in five years, thanks mainly to Covid. Two trips have had to be cancelled, so we are very excited and hopeful that this time all will be well. We miss her so much!

      A word for Cheryl - try to be outside and in the garden, if you can. Just being outdoors is helpful. When I'm a bit down, I find working with my nose among the plants really helps! And try to notice the small, beautiful things that are all around, if we just look for them. All the best.

      Linda in NZ

    8. Hi Cheryl, a little change of pleasant scenery helps even if it's going for a coffee treat and parking the car at the far end of the street and strolling both sides of the street there and back. That's a little exercise and change in perspective as you're strolling not driving. Self care and a little indulgence is needed in these days that can feel heavy. Oh and put on your most favourite upbeat music or calm Swoon classic track- turn off the news! Best wishes to you

    9. I think lots of time outdoors, exercise and vitamin B supplements as well, as well as limiting bad food and alcohol and getting good amounts of sleep. Also, keeping busy in small amounts, 5/10/15 minute timers and that will surprise you with how much you get done XX lots of love Lily

    10. Hi, Cheryl. I'm wondering if what you are experiencing could be related to your electrolytes? A few years ago I was quite low on magnesium (they blamed it on a med that I take) and I was listless and depressed with 0 energy. That went away when the imbalance was corrected. You can ask that your magnesium levels be tested with routine blood work. Also, I had post-partem depression after the birth of my middle child so I know how you must be feeling. Hope you feel better soon and have a good week!

    11. Dear Cheryl, You got so many replies! Thank you everyone for helping Cheryl! My suggestion is to take vitamin D and get in any sun there is any chance you get. Saying this it is ok to have a down week. Extra rest, nurturing and see if that is what your body is needing. I hope you are feeling a lot better, with love Annabel.xxx

  15. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds, I hope Luke's finger isn't giving him too much pain. We forget how much we need our hands in good working order until they don't function properly, I'm sure as a farmer he will be wanting to get back into everything and he will have to be a good boy and let it heal. Chloe's Easter Afternoon tea was magical, thankyou for sharing the photos of it, so I could feel it too. I am glad you had a couple of restful days and hope you are enjoying your grandchildren's visit. My Easter Holidays have been a tad too busy. I feel very very tired. We got away camping for two nights, one of the children in our group came off his motorbike and the foot stand poked a disgusting hole in his leg, so it was off to hospital for stiches for him. Then it rained and we got bogged in as we tried to leave. We should have listened to the wise mother of one of the group who had grown up in that country area and rang the night before telling us rain was coming and we wouldn't get out. But naughty children we all are (all over 40) we thought we knew better. 6 hours later we got our vehicles to the road but had to leave 2 caravans, a camper trailer and trailer of motorbikes for 4 days until we could go back. We are all now dealing with very stinky wet items. Sigh. Moral - always listen to your Mother. My dehydrator arrived on Thursday. I will wait until my houseguests go home before I open it. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, No wonder you are tired! I hope the boys leg is doing ok. Wow that Mother knew!! What an ordeal to get out! And all that washing... The kids probably thought it was a great adventure! Oh congratulations on your dehydrator!! You are going to love it!! A Purposeful Pantry on you tube is good... so is Heidi on Rain Country. This is exciting!! Hope this week has gone much easier! With love Annabel.xxx

  16. I had an eye exam this week at a place inside the Walmart. Went to check on flour prices while there and they were more than reasonable and the lowest I've seen anywhere. I decided to get a 25 pound bag based on the prices over all. It was just $9.24, a most excellent buy! Tomorrow I am going to pick up my granddaughter's favorite Sunday dinner main dish at a grocery (she likes the fried chicken from there) and the store has a wonderful sale on Pineapple. I plan to buy as many cans as I might. Ideally I'd like to have 12 cans of slices and 12 more of chunks but we shall see if they have plenty in stock. Rainchecks on sales are a thing of the past.

    I transplanted tomato plants and there were 10 in the cells. I kept five and gave five to my daughter in law.

    Prayers for Luke and Tania's dad.

    Annabel I have very limited experience but that absolutely looks like beet root to me. I had no idea it would self sow. I'll have to watch for that in future!

    Cheryl I found in the deepest days of depression for myself that I would set a timer and work at some task for 15 minutes then reward myself with 15 minutes of reading or walking about outdoors. Then I'd do 15 minutes more of the tasks I needed to do. This also works well if one has deep seated pain that prevents a lot of work being done.

    1. Dear Terri, What a great buy on the flour! I hope you were able to get plenty of the pineapple too. It was nice to share the tomato plants.
      Thanks for your words to Cheryl. I think we all have experienced at least a time like this. I agree on the 15 mins method. To be honest I still do that on a day I am tired. Thanks so much, with love Annabel.xxx

  17. What a productive week you had despite the rest. My husband always reminds me that I'm most productive after a nap. Sorry to hear about Luke's accident. What a blessing he get's to keep the finger. Sorry to hear about Tania's dad. Glad he is on the mend as well.

    My week was full of kombucha making, bread baking and all homemade meals. We enjoyed a visit from our eldest son. He treated the younger kids to a shopping trip for their birthdays. Things are just too costly where he lives, so he thought a shopping spree here in our town would be better. Can I just say how blessed I am to see most of my children making wise money choices? If any of you Bluebirds have gone through tight or tough times your children are watching. And they are learning! So glad our lean times have proved fruitful.

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

    1. Dear Leslie,
      I agree... sometimes it does work out we get more done overall because of a rest or pacing ourselves.
      You had a very productive week! How lovely about the shopping trip! I bet this was so much fun. And yes very good to see thoughtful choices! It is true... kids absorb everything! With much love Annabel.xxx

  18. Hello dear Annabel and Bluebirds, So sorry for Luke's accident and pray for as easy recovery as possible - this must be very painful for him. The tea party looked so lovely I truly wish I could join, too. (If it wasn't on the other side of the world....). I am glad you will enjoy some days with Scarlet and Harper - maybe creating the fairy world in the wheelborrow. Our week was productive again, planting in the garden but very slowly as we still have very cold nights and rain is forecast. Found a new to me op shop owned by a very nice lady - bought a chic summer lavender dress, different glasses, beer jugs and some plates. Also, I found a nice fabric with roses and lace and bought it As I want to start making quilts ( when was the last time you did something for the first time?). I am the one who always likes to learn something new. We are celebrating the orthodox Easter too this Sunday and so do the ucrainians. Regarding the war news, we have quiet days at the border. Just a few people are crossing over and many ucrainians went back because in their area is safe. It is still frightening to see helicopters patroling when you work in the garden and when it is very quiet you can hear the sirens from Ucrain (2-3 times a day). But in the east side of Ucrain the war is horrible. Killing, rapping, torturing civilians, children, in Bucha and Mariupol the russians did a masacre and on the russian tv channels they openly talk about the 3rdworld war. Truth is there will be problems with food due to this war - we are not having yet many shortages here just very high prices - but everybidy is warning us out and loud. I almost write a book! Take care everyone, best wishes from Laura_s_world in Romania

  19. Hello dear Annabel and Bluebirds, So sorry for Luke's accident and pray for as easy recovery as possible - this must be very painful for him. The tea party looked so lovely I truly wish I could join, too. (If it wasn't on the other side of the world....). I am glad you will enjoy some days with Scarlet and Harper - maybe creating the fairy world in the wheelborrow. Our week was productive again, planting in the garden but very slowly as we still have very cold nights and rain is forecast. Found a new to me op shop owned by a very nice lady - bought a chic summer lavender dress, different glasses, beer jugs and some plates. Also, I found a nice fabric with roses and lace and bought it As I want to start making quilts ( when was the last time you did something for the first time?). I am the one who always likes to learn something new. We are celebrating the orthodox Easter too this Sunday and so do the ucrainians. Regarding the war news, we have quiet days at the border. Just a few people are crossing over and many ucrainians went back because in their area is safe. It is still frightening to see helicopters patroling when you work in the garden and when it is very quiet you can hear the sirens from Ucrain (2-3 times a day). But in the east side of Ucrain the war is horrible. Killing, rapping, torturing civilians, children, in Bucha and Mariupol the russians did a masacre and on the russian tv channels they openly talk about the 3rdworld war. Truth is there will be problems with food due to this war - we are not having yet many shortages here just very high prices - but everybidy is warning us out and loud. I almost write a book! Take care everyone, best wishes from Laura_s_world in Romania

    1. Dear Laura, I love learning something new! All your purchases sound beautiful!
      I am hearing your country now has the gas turned off and I hope you have alternative sources. Thank you for your report. It is horrific. You are doing a good job with your garden and nice things. I pray for your family and your safety! With much love, Annabel.xxx

  20. Dear Annabel: I love Chloe’s Easter party, it is beautifully presented. Chloe has such talent for baking and ensuring that everything is beautifully presented. I am to hear about Luke’s finger; what a worry. It is wonderful that you and your mum could help. I truly admire the way you do this for each other, it makes my heart happy. I am excited for you that the girls are coming to stay; what fun you will have! We have baked Anzac biscuits, and I have crocheted. I have kept on top of finances and it was lovely to have nearly a whole meal from the garden last night. I am putting some presents together and have nearly everything in my cupboard, so this is great. I think stocking up is so wise. We went to the library yesterday and I borrowed a book on herbal medicine, I think I need to keep up this reading as to help with simple things at home. Keeping alert is my aim. Lots of love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily,
      The girls and I did have a lovely time! It took me a couple of days to catch up and recover lol
      A whole meal from the garden is great. Each time we extend a meal or save on a whole meal it is fantastic!
      Herbal medicine is a good subject to study. I have studied essential oils and Homeopathy as well and try a little of each. I am amazed how well some things work. I have Aloe Vera and if I get a burn I run out and pick a leaf and it honestly works better than anything else!
      I hope you are having a good new week. With love Annabel.xxx

  21. Dear Annabel,
    The tea looks absolutely exquisite!! Chloe is so talented. Having a weekend with Harper and Scarlett sounds like it will be so much fun for them.
    It has been busy here getting the garden ready for spring planting next month. Each day that there was warm weather we were outside working. Rainy days and cooler days were spent inside rearranging the different pantries and craft room. I think we're in pretty good shape and I am forever grateful that I paid attention to the prompting I felt to stock up etc., long before everything that has happened in the world today began.

    How I got ahead this week was I made 3 meatloaves for the freezer, baked 2 loaves of English muffin bread, made 2 dozen English muffins, made a turkey and sliced up the leftovers for other meals, baked 2 dozen brownies, and made banana mini muffins, roasted 2 chickens for future meals, made and froze cauli-mash for future meals. Dug instant compost into the container portion of the garden, started seeds for marigolds and basil in the greenhouse window in the kitchen. Two good swaps came my way. I traded a box of pasta for and got 3 heads of romaine lettuce in one trade and some note pads that I made for a wheelbarrow full of compost in another trade. Evenings I have been embroidering pillow cases and knitting spa clothes for the gift closet. All meals made at home and leftovers used creatively made into new meals. Blessings to all. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, It is amazing how we knew to prepare so long ago. I felt prompted in a way I find hard to explain but it was an absolute no choice nagging feeling. And here we are. Meat loaves freeze so well! You did a heap of baking! I love your trading too! We have to work with the weather. Whichever way the weather goes we have things we can work on. What a nice week you had, I know your embroidered pillow will be gorgeous! With love Annabel.xxx

  22. What a beautiful setting for a tea party. That Chloe just outdoes herself every time. I think she has found her niche! I am so sorry about Luke's accident. What a terrible shock and that had to be so painful. I hope and pray he continues to heal. Annabel, I know they appreciated your and your mom's help with everything.

    I had a busy week: two stock-up town trips, filling jars, canning meats, dehydrating veggies, watering gardens and finally a joy-filled visit this weekend from my granddaughter and her Lyndi who is now 1 1/2 years old which is such a wonderful age . Of course major work around here was put on hold for such a special visit!

    I am still re-arranging and de-cluttering to get rid of non-essentials and to keep the things that are useful or special in some way. I am moving a large part of my fabric collection to the attic as that is the best place I could figure out. I bought several large sturdy vinyl zippered bags that should store things securely and also be easy to transport up and down the attic stairs. I guess that depends on how full they are! I have already filled 3 boxes for donating this week. Progress!

    Stay alert, be safe and have a great week, my BlueBird friends!

    1. Dear Pam, Thank you! I had not thought of grasshoppers... but yes this would work! Also we had a great tip above... to use those food covers that are mesh and fold up... genius!
      What a lovely weekend you had! One and a half is beautiful. Thomas and Sidney are just past this age approaching 2.
      Good job on your organising and decluttering. Fabric is good to keep. It will always be useful. With love Annabel.xxx

  23. Annabel, I forgot to mention, I LOVE your clever idea of using the basket "cloches". I may copy that as we are always trying to cope with grasshoppers (some Texas sized!) and other little varmints. Thanks for that idea!

  24. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    It was a busy and weird week for us, so I am very late - all is well, but I had a couple of unexpected dental visits needed and that sort of upended everything! Super thankful to have decent dental insurance and savings and to be on the mend now. Annabel, what a gorgeous tea table! How nice for you to share it all together. Your garden cloches are so pretty, I would never know they were wastebaskets. I am so sorry to hear about Luke's injury and hope he heals well and quickly.

    I hope everyone has a good week!

    1. Dear Kathy, I am glad you have the dental stuff out of the way. I have lost a filling and have to go myself. I would rather not! Thank you re the cloches, they are working so well. Now I am expanding my ways to fight the bugs for bigger plants. It all helps! Luke is doing really well he saw the surgeon Wednesday and he thought it was healing properly, yay! Hope your week had been going well, with love Annabel.xxx

  25. Thank you to all for your lovely comments, my eyes are misty from reading your words and kind suggestions. I didn’t mean to come looking for sympathy I was obviously quite vulnerable when I typed my message, and must have needed an outlet. I’ve improved a bit, but still feeling a little meh! This will pass in time. I love the support from this group. Thankyou all once again.


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