Feather your Nest Friday, 29th April, 2022.

I was on the road a few this week which took a lot of time but gave me the opportunity to go to the shops, the swap tables (3 times) and today I picked up a new car!  This is so exciting for me.  Also it is amazing I GOT a new car as they are hard to get.  I ordered it before Christmas and hoped.  Today was the day!  

Every time I went through town I took something to the swap tables.   I ended up with so much produce!  

This included heaps of beautiful large cherry tomatoes.

These went into the dehydrator and filled it completely.

Another day I got more Quinces.  This time I made jam.

Also succulents and mandarines. 

My extra trips were because I collected Harper and Scarlett to come and stay.   We had a beautiful time.  We went to visit Mum (Great Nana Pat) and Chloe and Thomas.   We picked bunches of Bay Leaves and Rosemary in Mum's garden as something additional I could take to the swap table.  

This is the beauty of trading,  our abundance of a few things is like a currency for things we don't have. 
Also the girls were right into it and collecting the eggs to take to the tables.

I added a lot to my pantry.  Each trip I stopped somewhere...    I added several kinds of dried beans,  popping corn and polenta.  
Also tins of Birds Custard power,  chopped tomatoes and baked beans. 
My goal item for the week was to stock up on pumpkins.   My own crop failed.  I chose pumpkins that had a really dried off stem as when they have dried on the vine they usually keep a year or so.  (In our climate anyway, this may vary.)    I found some beautiful ones.

In my hallway I have a kind of nature table.   I thought the pumpkins would fit in there and they do!

I still might add more and fill under the table space.  But I am glad to have these.

The dehydrator is still going.  Tonight it is full of Capsicum.

This week really gave me some extra opportunities.  I spend a bit of time thinking ok what should I do next?  What would be wise?    
I thought of something.  Another something!   
I ordered an incubator!  

Between Chloe and us we have a lot of fertile eggs.  Chloe keeps Guinea Fowl and ducks.   I have access to so many eggs and not many good chicken mothers.     So I bought a 24 egg incubator.  
Fun and games!!!! 

I also ordered a warming plate that turns a large box into a brooder to keep new chicks warm.  

This weekend I will watch a heap of you tube videos on this but potentially I could get my first eggs incubating by the end of the weekend!  And... if I know the girls are coming to stay in the holidays I can count backwards and have eggs hatching when they are here.  I think this would be wonderful for them. 

I figure chickens will always be sought after.  They are something I could sell, gift or trade.   They will add to my overall economy and I will have a great fun time!  🐔

In the garden I added Broccoli, Cauliflowers and Cabbages.   My beans came up.  

So that I have everything I need for soap and cosmetics making I added caustic soda and beeswax to my supplies.  I can make soap anytime and have enough supplies to make laundry soap as well for a couple of years. 

I am hoping you also had a good week.   How did you build up your home or add to your pantry or garden?  What do you have or produce that could be traded or give you a little sideline if needed? 

My aim over the weekend is to not go anywhere!  Our weather is cooler and I think soup is a good plan.  We need some time to rest, restore and think straight! xxx


  1. You had a wonderfully productive week, Annabel. We don't have swap tables or anyone interested in bartering in our area. You are in a very good location for what is coming.

    The girls are precious. It is such a blessing to have grandchildren. Our's are all almost grown now; a couple are already. The precious time of when they were young went by far too quickly.

    This week was a mixture of vacuum sealing, sewing, planning, working on notebooks for organization and research. I have to pace myself, so I work on some project for a bit, then move to another.

    The news is so awful. There is so much going on to attempt to destroy anything good or righteous. God has this and He will conquer the darkness.

    Have a blessed weekend.
    With love,

    1. Dear Glenda, I do this too... I move from hard work outside to something quieter inside and mix it up. I definitely can get more done by pacing myself. You did a lot and Im glad you got some sewing done as I know you were wanting to.
      I think of the verses about things that are evil will be called good and things that are good will be called evil. This is where we are. However you are right we know who the winner is! Have a lovely Sunday, with love Annabel.xxx

  2. So glad you have had a good week, mine has been horrible. Nothing totally devastating happened just a series of unpleasant incidents involving uncaring, thoughtless arrogant neighbours, incompetence and bureaucracy. I am tired but I must to carry on.
    Anyway, I did finish knitting the shawl, it's huge, so very snuggly. I got cheese and pate for a really good price and since the dog has eaten some of the food I cooked for her, I managed to freeze them. I got a little metal crate with bottles in, which I am using as a rooting station. I planted loads more strawberry plants and not much else!

    Have the best week everyone

    1. Dear Su, I am sorry you had such a rough week. The shawl sounds just beautiful! I like the sound of the crate with the bottles! And what a good use for it! I have a windowsill of cuttings, some have taken root so I need to get them planted out! Have a much better new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    What a nice week, Annabel - those herbs and produce are beautiful, and the girls are so lovely! How nice to have them stay with you. I am thrilled for you that you were able to get a new car - that is a great thing and hard to find these days!

    We did not have a frugal week, but it was a good week for building things up. I used my insurance to go to another dental visit (one more and all of the unexpected chaos going on will be fixed, hooray). Definitely a week where the pantry and muffins from the freezer came in handy! A local company came out to lay human- and pet-safe termite baits at our house - we found a small area of damage and wanted to address it right away. The workers were wonderful, kind and efficient, and offered us a great price. My husband will replace the damaged trim this week. I planted more seeds and used water from the rain barrel for them, and now lettuce, basil, radish, and zinnia seedlings are peeping their heads up! I did manage to wash all our linens and my husband changed the HVAC filters in the house. We are on vacation next week, so I am looking forward to a nice rest and also a big baking day.

    Price-wise, gas is up again to $4.29/gallon in my part of Oklahoma, and dairy and eggs are quite a bit more expensive. A quart of heavy cream was almost $9 at the grocery store this week - it was significantly less at Sam's Club. Chicken that is not already processed into nuggets or patties is also pretty hit or miss and prices are higher again on those.

    I'm stitching away on another bird stitching pattern and also a couple of ornaments for the holidays - never too early to get started! I hope everyone has a great weekend and week ahead.


    1. Dear Kathy, Sorry you had more dental work to go through! I am happy to hear about human and pet safe termite treatment. It gives me the horrors what people use where they live and breathe that is so poisonous. It is never too early to start stitching projects they usually are a lot of work so time is a good thing. I hope your vacation coming up. Expensive weeks happen but you are always well ahead so this makes it much better!nn With love Annabel.xxx

  4. I suppose you don't know anymore about Laine or you would say so. I also need time to rest and relax at home after a busy time of being gone from home for a lot of the time. My late husband used to call it "R & R'.

    1. Dear Carole, I do have some info but she doesn't have her full results yet which is why I havent said anything. Laine is home from hospital. She did well. Now she needs to gain weight as she lost more. Now it is a waiting game to establish if she is cancer free or has further treatment. So this is what to pray for now (and that she gains weight) With love Annabel.xxx

  5. I live very differently than you, in a U.S. suburb, but I try to always be thinking of ways to reuse and save. There are just two of us retired folks here and my garden is all flowers, but last year I added one tomato plant. It had very limited success but I planted another one this year. Also, in a large pot I planted several heads of lettuce. If I can grow those two things I can go to stores less often.

    I can't bear food waste so when I went through my pantry I collected all the things my husband wouldn't eat, VERY picky eater, and gave them to a neighbor. She was happy to get them.

    We've been very good about not wasting food. Rather than having a week's worth of leftovers in the fridge, we just eat 2 or 3 meals in a row of the same thing until it's gone. That works better for us.

    We have two cats with different tastes. One barely touches canned food and prefers dried. We would give her some canned twice a day that always partially went to waste. Now, she only gets a small dollop of the wet and then fills up on dried. Stretches the cat food budget.

    We also play the credit card/travel points game to fund our travel. We just made the decision to go in for a new card next month that will help fund our next trip to our beloved Hawaii.

    We all live different lives and have different ways of feathering our nests. Love your blog.

    1. Dear Anne, Thank you so much. No matter where we live we have so much in common. We are quite happy to eat the same thing over and use things up. Very often I will skip a night then the same thing re appears. Not wasting food is a big saving alone! Thank you for your lovely comment! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Hi Annabel,
    What a wonderful and productive week you have had. I did get my strawberries in, but can't plant anything else yet as we have had a couple of late spring frost warnings.
    How fun to have an incubator. I'm sure Harper and Scarlett will love seeing baby chicks hatch. our county fair always has chicks and ducks hatching and my daughter loved to watch when she was young (still does). Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura,
      I hope you have had the last frost now. That is lovely about the country fair having chicks hatching! I would LOVE to hatch ducklings! mmm! I am so excited with this! Many blessings to you too, with love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,

    My hubby will be jealous, as he has often talked about an incubator. :) Our first chicks should arrive this upcoming week, and then a few the week after. I've been out puttering in the garden...pruning back old raspberry canes and feeding the upcoming ones, dividing rhubarb, pruning the oregano and winter savoury, etc. Picked the first daffodils of the season and they smell so good! I wanted to make a bouquet to celebrate last night as my eldest wrote her final final exam for her degree!! Also made a Thai green curry (one of her favorites) for supper, and a coconut chiffon cake to end the meal (and use lots of eggs in the process, ha, ha).
    So proud of her.

    I love how your pumpkin/squash storage doubles as beautiful decor!

    We have an invite for dinner with friends tomorrow night, so looking forward to that. So glad to hear you had a great visit with your little girls! Wishing you a restful weekend and another great week ahead!

    P.S. Chloe's cake you showed last week was BEAUTIFUL!

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      You have a very good present to get your husband for his Birthday or Christmas... I think an incubator is fun but also a hedge against any time getting chicks could be difficult. Congratulations to your daughter, that is a big achievement!
      Thank you re the pumpkin... I have a lot of food storage in plain sight like jars of dry goods and preserves and to me they are beautiful. This gives me more places to stock up. Enjoy your weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Annabel you are doing so well! I am so glad you were able to get your car! I know you will be successful with your incubator and I agree the girls will love it and watching them hatch.
    It's still not time for planting for me yet, but I can't wait! It is possible if you planted your pumpkins where you had the bunches of manure that it may have been too much for them. Some plants can be over fertilized because they don't require much for growth. My week was making good use of a roast and leftovers so no waste. More things were sent to me to review and one sewing project. So it's still a slower time for me but it will pick up. Oh Todd found me another rusty bucket to paint. I love buckets!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I think with my pumpkins the trees stole all the nutrients and I need to totally rebuild rich soil or move to a new location... I am determined to have success next time. It is so exciting that you will be planting soon. We are having a roast tonight! Awesome on the bucket... boxes and buckets have a lot of uses! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Oooh, exciting about the incubator! I got one recently and, last week, ordered some quail eggs which arrived Monday. The grandkids and I are excited to check the temperature and humidity a couple of times a day, and are looking forward to having some chicks hatch. It will be so much fun learning and taking care of the birds!

    1. Dear Chipmunk, I would love to hatch Quail. Quail eggs are so pretty! Please tell me how you go. I will be a bit nervous this first time! Your Grandkids will love this, I know mine will. A great thing to do with them. With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Wow--April is almost done! We have had a few showers (well, more than a few) and I'm ready for May flowers...although I have daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and forsythia in bloom. We MAY have had our last frost of winter. Not surprisingly, I have a few frugal gardening accomplishments and a big frugal gardening fail to report. This is for the past two weeks.

    I “pricked out and potted on” (as the Brits say) tomato, bell pepper, lettuce and petunia seedlings. I planted half of the lettuce seedlings directly into the garden. I’m alternating them with purple pansies to edge a flower bed. It’s no big loss if they don’t make it because I have so many. Only one parsley seed came up. Petunia seeds are tiny and it is hard NOT to plant too many. They ALL came up, LOL!

    I bought 4 broken bags of raised bed soil for half-price at Lowe’s and Home Depot. This works out to 9 cf (about 1/3 yard) for around $25. Monday, after a busy weekend in the garden center, seemed like it might be a good day to look for busted-up bags--and it was!

    Frugal fail–The compost plant in my city gave away free compost last Saturday. You had to load it yourself. When I arrived at 9 a.m., the line was over 1/4 mile long. The vehicles were mostly pickups, cars with trailers...and pickups with trailers! I left because I had a good idea of how long it was going to take to load all those vehicles by hand. I only needed a little bit compared to those folks and I had other places to go. I wish I had gone earlier, but then I would have had to wait a long time for the place to open. Good deal for the people who waited, though.

    The walk-in closet in our bedroom has hanging space on 3 sides in a U shape. We only had the one shelf on top of the rods. Our friend Colton (who has a handyman business) added a top shelf all the way around. The total cost for materials, labor and wire shelf dividers was about $145. I painted the shelves before they went up. DH can no longer do much of this kind of work, so we are thankful to know someone who can (and will!) do anything for a reasonable price.

    Colton installed the new over-the-range microwave for $75 (Lowe’s charges $120 and up).

    I re-sewed one of the handles on my daughter's lunch bag and hemmed curtains for a friend.

    We switched internet service providers (broadband) for a better price, saving $20 month. We got a new customer rate of $45 month (including router) for two years for coming back. It's nice to have choices!

    I had .70 gallon in fuel points discount when I bought gas yesterday. It was $4.11 gallon, the highest it has been where I live, thus I saved about $11.50 on the tank. Now that I am no longer on the super expensive osteoporosis meds, I won't be earning many fuel points...but I'd rather pay full price for the gas and skip the meds!

    1. Dear Maxine, Your garden sounds so pretty! I love a mix of flowers and edibles. What a lovely time of year. The shelf in the closet would add a lot of storage space. I like to use square baskets on shelves and it is amazing how much space it gives you. Your friend is an asset as these jobs can be hard to get done.
      You had great savings and the repairs and alterations you did were fantastic too. As your weather is warming ours is cooling. We are still getting mostly sunny days so I can still get a lot done outside... but running out of time! And now it is May! Have a lovely Sunday, with love Annabel.xxx

  11. With food shortages possibly looming in the future you are well and truly prepared.

    1. Thank you, I am trying and a bit each week really works! xxx

  12. Hi Annabel,
    Another great week for you. Gosh the girls are growing up fast now.
    All things considering, not to long a wait for your new car. We are having to get a new laptop this weekend as ours has died again. We had it repaired about 6 months ago and I don't want to put more money into it when it is probably at the end of its life. I need one for work so that is this weekend's priority.
    Do is in the supermarket doing our weekly shop while I wait in the car and respond to your blog. I
    am adding a little to our pantry each week. This week more rolled oats,instant yeast, gf Weetabix and soy milk. We always keep a good supply but with the way the world is right now a little more won't hurt. We are lucky we can afford to do this.
    Last weekend I got the first coat of paint on our new bedroom window surround and lots of tidying up in the back garden. This weekend will be more of the same.
    I too will be looking out for pumpkins when we visit our produce supplier next Saturday. We go once a fortnight as it is across town from us. It is worth the drive because of the quality, range and prices.
    Have a great week fellow Bluebirds and I hope you are all safe and your family are well.

    1. Dear Mandy, Yes I was really lucky with the car! It is great you are stocked up and adding. And as you say you can afford to. Im pretty sure anything we add now is an overall saving because of prices increasing. Also though you are thoughtful and resourceful, dont waste things etc and these all make a world of difference in getting ahead. Good job on the window! Going to the produce supplier sounds so enjoyable to me. A good thing to do and certainly sounds worth it. Enjoy your weekend too! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Dear Annabel, I love your collection of pumpkins. The colours are gorgeous! What a lovely idea to time the egg hatching for the holidays—you will be creating memories that last a lifetime. This week I had a big cooking week. Each day was something different and my favourite was my dumpling wrapping day. At some point my dining table was covered in homemade dumplings! They have gone into the freezer for lots of easy meals.

    With love from,
    Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

    1. Dear Kelly, I think pumpkins are beautiful too. I had a great harvest the year before but none this year but I still want to have them on hand. Well done on your cooking week. Dumplings sound beautiful! You will be so glad of these in the freezer now the hard work is done. Just beautiful. With love, Annabel.xxx

  14. What a wonderful and productive week you have had again Annabel. I think your grandchildren will be thrilled to bits to see little baby chickens hatch, what a great plan and what great things they will learn!

    I had a better week this week, even with low energy I was able to do a few things. A neighbour gave me a pumpkin some time ago and I used it this week to make a big pot of pumpkin soup. This fed our family of four for one meal, and gave me 5 individual serves left over. I gave 3 single serves to my Aunty In Law as her brother passed away the week before and she has been feeling overwhelmed. She appreciated the gift.

    I also baked a batch of Anzac biscuits, we ate some and I gifted some to my Aunty.

    School went back this past week so I made a batch of muffins and some ham and cheese scrolls. They went into the freezer for lunches and snacks.

    And finally I deep cleaned and decluttered most of the kitchen cupboards. This was long overdue and it felt really good to sort it all out.

    I need to get a kick along in my vegetable garden this week, oh my the cost of vegetables is out of control at the moment! I wanted to make some Kim Chi a couple of weeks ago and had to pay $10 for a cabbage!!! Then in the supermarket I noticed capsicums were $14.90 per kilo!! If ever there was a time to get growing it is now!

    1. Dear Cheryl, The pumpkin soup sounds so good and what a nice gift to help your Aunty. A gift of help too. Ham and cheese scrolls sound so good. When school went back we always had baking days to get ready.
      My kitchen cupboards, the lower ones with baking dishes etc needs a huge overhaul. You did a good job getting yours done.
      You are right... grow what you can. The price you saw for for capsicums and cabbage... ours are similar. A few shocks! The more we can grow the better! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. Hi Annabel and how wonderful you got your new car that is a true blessing considering how scarce they are and how long the waiting lists are :) . What a great purchase your egg incubator and heating plate will be and no doubt you will be able to have more hens and possibly sell them too. It was great that you were able to get so much from the swap table to preserve and also provide eggs in return.

    Mixed week here where we seemed to be traveling and doing little jobs that needed doing.

    Some interesting news articles are - https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/australias-coles-posts-over-3-225447944.html and of course that we clocked 5.1% inflation without amendments too. Will be interesting to see what happens with the mortgage interest rates in the coming months too.

    In the kitchen -
    - Baked 4 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machine.
    - Cooked all meals from scratch.

    Finances and purchases -
    - I looked at the budget and everyday account rounded off any extra money in there and paid an additional $150 off the mortgage and put an additional $260 into our emergency fund.
    - I paid another part extra mortgage payment and added more to our savings
    and emergency fund from our pays.

    Purchases -
    - Bought fuel using our 4% off face value Racq e-gift card and using our 4c per litre rewards to save $8.96 on usual prices.
    - From IGA on sales I purchased bottles of sarsaparilla, clix biscuits and brut deodorant for DH saving $16.60 on usual prices.

    In the garden sheds -
    - Spent 2 days pressure cleaning the tool shed and sorting electrical tools, hand tools, oils, chainsaws and lots of bits and pieces neatly after cleaning into the shed on new metal shelves and existing wood shelves. Still more to do as we just dumped everything in the sheds when we first moved in so now is a good time for a good tidy up and to put things in marked containers and on shelves.
    - We are also culling what we have not used in some time being a 7T electric log splitter that was too light for the firewood we cut, a fan heater, a convection heater and a portable electric oven cook top. We took these down to our local men's shed to sell for us and they will get a commission.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.


    1. Dear Lorna, Thank you for the link. Interesting times. The pressure of big prices rises in electricity, fuel, food and mortgage payments all at once is going to hit hard. Sadly so many do not have gardens, savings, emergency funds, a stocked pantry and so on as any kind of buffer. Literally every single thing we do to get ahead is valuable because of times like these.
      Your house must smell beautiful with your bread baking. There is nothing as nice as warm bread.
      What a lot of work in the tool shed! With new shelves and good organisation it will be fantastic. Tools are another thing that are so good to have. Being able to do repairs and jobs ourselves is an enormous saving. I hope your items sell well, sure they will. Even though you were travelling you achieved a lot.
      We have had some rain today and last night so very pleased. I was thinking of your full rainwater tanks and hoping we have enough to have full tanks too! With much love Annabel.xxx

  16. It is still unseasonably chilly here but I finally was able to work in the garage on my pantry shelves. They were in need of a reorganization. I wrote in today's blog post about being shocked that a few bags of flour was way past their expiration (Use By) date. It reminded me that those items with a quick expiration date (like flour) need to be watched more carefully. I could have shared the flour with the kids or at least give it to a food pantry if I had realized it much earlier. However, it is great to be almost done with the organizing. Just a couple more shelves of canned goods! Lots of shortages here, not to mention outrageous prices. You are my hero!

    1. Dear Brenda, It is good to have a chance to organise and I always find things I forgot about. The flour should still be ok. I dont keep an expiration date on flour so I never would know and so far its always been ok. I think organisation often means we fit a lot more on the shelves too. Thank you for such a kind comment! I am overwhelmed because I follow your blog and you are diligent and wise! With love Annabel.xxx

  17. Debby in Kansas USA2 May 2022 at 05:51

    Those tomatoes made my mouth water, Annabel!! We haven't even managed to get ours in yet. Too much rain and the ground is like clay. We're hoping that by Saturday....
    I have loads of Grape Kool aid Irises getting ready to bloom- they smell so good when they do. My Clematis is full of bug, beautiful blooms and I am so happy it's see my Burning Bush is full and lush. I thought it was a goner at one point.

    The girls are growing so fast! Did Harper lose all those ringlets she had? My niece had tight curls until about puberty and then her hair went straight as a pencil!! So odd how that can change. My hair was and still is HAY!

    I look forward to more chickie pictures!! Enjoy your week!

    1. Dear Debby, I hope maybe your weather is better and you can do your planting. Your Irises sound stunning! Your garden sounds amazing.
      Harpers hair is shorter and not as curly. I am not sure why as shorter should help it curl! It is fairly wavy though. Oh the curls were beautiful!
      I really hope my eggs hatch as then I can post a ridiculous number of chick photos! Many thanks, with love Annabel.xxx

  18. Annabel thanks for the lovely photos! I so enjoy your adventures. So happy for you as you enjoy a new tool to add to your nest. Your grands are so sweet. Can't wait for some grands of my own.
    Not alot accomplished last week, just homemade bread and meals. But our yard is "waking up" in blooms and green. First the daffodils, then the hyacinths, now the tulips and hostas. So thankful for bulb plants that come up year after year.

    Blessings to all the Bluebirds,

    1. Dear Leslie,
      You will have the best time when you have Grandchildren, something to look forward to! Homemade bread and meals are very good! The garden sounds beautiful. Bulbs are amazing! I love them. Much love, Annabel.xxx

  19. Hi Annabel and all

    I am a little bit behind here as I have been busy doing some courses but have been able to catch up a bit today.

    I do hope that Luke and his finger are ok...that was a shock to read, but I am glad that he still has his finger.

    The photo of Harper and Scarlett is just gorgeous and I can't believe how fast they are growing. I do hope that you had a wonderful time together.

    Congratulations on your new car. Our new car is in the country but we are waiting on it's arrival as they have to make sure that everything that is on this replacement car was what was on the New/Old car (new car in October last year written off in January this year) has been added. We did have to get a different model and as we had new for old policy everything has to be the same as the car we had.

    Looking forward to reading on how you go with the incubator. This will be a wonderful project for you. I have noticed a lot of people in our area doing swaps or selling produce cheaply that they have an abundance of. Currently our lime tree is going mad and the other tree well we are yet to work out what it is so we call it the mystery tree as it flowered last year for the first time and this year it has fruit growing on and they are nearly ready to be picked.

    Weather here has been somewhat up and down, nights are getting chillier and most days now the air can be turned off which is a bonus. We had late rain last week which is fairly unusual as our wet season is in Janurary. But no complaints as everything is looking green and fresh again.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      Thanks you, Luke has healed really well. Its amazing considering how grim things were.
      I hope your car makes it soon. It is so nice to have a new car. Country living means a lot of long distances so its important too. It is really good you have people in the area trading! This opens up a lot of possibilities. We had some rain last night and today... I am looking forward to things being green and lush also! Many thanks Aly, with love Annabel.xxx


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