Feather your Nest Friday, 8th April, 2022.

It seems a long long time since last Friday!  It was a busy week.  

Some of the ways I built up our nest were:

I finished a blanket that I started last winter but put away over the warmer months.  

It is a pattern from Attic 24 which is free.  She has step by step tutorials and you don't need to be able to read patterns.  If you can do chain, and treble that is all you need.  Very easy and nice to work on.  It is called Sweet Pea.  I used my own colours as I stick to either cotton or wool.   It is so nice to have something lovely to be just dying to pick up in the evening.  I always say "busy hands, happy hearts."  It is true.  

Before this I finished up some more sets of cleaning cloths, some with scrubbie yarn in them.

From my garden I harvested Thyme and dried some.

We were given a bucket of honey.  That went straight into the pantry. 

I made scones, tuna mornay,  meatloaves,  meal sized pasties and fruit cakes. 

The pasties fed us a dinner and lunch, fed Chloe and Luke for a night and eight went into the freezer.

I got three big fruit cakes from my mix.   One will be for Andy's birthday as these are his favourite cake.  One is for someone who did me a massive favour and the third will be for when Chloe has the baby and she needs to make work lunches.

The meatloaves...   we had some for dinner and some are frozen.   They were delicious.  I like to make them in individual serves.   These are ready to go into the oven.

This is a good way to make them for kids too.  I remember when I was little I thought it was special to get your own little serve.  

Chloe was away overnight so I baby sat her calf Ralph.  I love calves so much this made me wish for another one!

He was no trouble at all, he drank his bottle just perfectly.

Mum saved up scraps for my chickens which they loved.

Last week I had the new chicken coops.   I ended up with a spare coop for future chicks.  

In a "build it and they will come" kind of way I already filled that coop.   A lady posted three fluffy roosters on buy, swap and sell.    One in particular I really wanted as I have a tiny little grey blue hen.   I asked if I could please have this rooster and it turned out she was giving them away and was hoping to get rid of all three at once.   So you can guess how that turned out.

I gave the red one in the front to a friend.  I kept the other two because I am going for the blue.grey colour scheme! 

This one apparently has eyes but I've never seen them! 

This is the one that got me hooked in the first place...

Imagine little grey fluffy chickens!!   To make this happen I need to do a lot of moving chickens around over the weekend.

We had guys in the cabin and they gave me a great supply of meat and bones for the dogs who have had it extra good this week.

I made up a fresh supply of cream of chicken soup mix then made tuna mornay.   

Some succulents I had in water on the windowsill had root systems so I planted them into the garden.

This week I took eggs to the swap tables in town (again) and came home with a zucchini and a container of cherry tomatoes.   They filled two trays in my dehydrator.

Over the last few weeks I filled all the big canning jars with dry goods.  I still have loads of smaller canning jars for actual canning.  The big ones are a tall jar,  a kilo of rice fits exactly.  They are no 36 Fowlers jars.   I am so happy looking at those once empty jars all full.  I still had plenty of lids, rings and clips so I was quite sorry to come to the las one.    Then I had a thought...  when my neighbour kept giving me these she would deliver half a dozen bags of jars at a time.  I knew these were a fantastic gift and I would need them.  I unpacked,  hand washed and then put each load through the dishwasher before I put them away.   They had been in a shed and were very dusty.  I had to find places to put them and filled my high kitchen shelves.    But then I ran out of space and had to get inventive.  It dawned on me that I had filled a top shelf in a bedroom.   Sure enough,  I opened up this cupboard and found about 20 jars I completely forgot about!  I am back in business!!!  

I hope you had many opportunities to build up your home and pantry.  Maybe also your garden as many of you are heading into Spring!  I still feel the need to stock up, get ahead and to keep busy.    The news is awful.  Horrific.  I need to walk into the garden, pat the dogs and pray.  xxx 


  1. Dear Annabel, Ralph. Oh my goodness. The cuteness of his face. I do like your fluffy roosters too. Your sweetpea blanket turned out really pretty and it does remind me of sweetpeas. We have had a few slightly chilly nights and I got my blanket out to continue crocheting too. I have a long way to go on mine though. I had to harvest my pumpkins a little earlier than I would have liked which meant about 12 of them were under ripe. I have put these aside and plan to boil them up for the chooks over time. The reason I had to pick them early was that they were being eaten by foxes! I thought it was cockatoos but there were scats (fox poo) very near the patch full of pumpkin seeds. I picked 48 ripe ones. I was so happy. I cannot take full credit for this abundant harvest. I did plant 4 seedlings but God planted the rest - they grew out of compost and went everywhere. I have already given some away. I need to make room in our shed to store the others. My MIL says pumpkin is very expensive at the moment so I would love it if I am able to keep us supplied this year. I was also able to harvest some sweet potatos and was happy to find about 30 normal potatos that I forgot I planted. These will be used on good Friday for the Mash to go with my MIL smoked cod. My daughter went back to school on Tuesday and finished the term today. We are both so glad its holidays, she is still tired from the virus. I went to town to restock after last weeks isolation. There was no toilet paper in Aldi. When I asked about it at the checkout, the staff member said they can't understand it, they have been restocking every second day and it flies off the shelf. I have definitely noticed price rises with everything. For example, the food we buy our guinea pig has risen by $2. Aldi dishwashing liquid that has been 99 cents for years is now 1.19. Have a great weekend, love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, Forty eight ripe pumpkins is just incredible! I had no success this year at all. If they vine was dry to the pumpkin they should store well for a long time. What a bonus for you! And yes even the unripe ones can be animal feed. The sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are fantastic too! You will be able to have lots of soups over winter!
      It sounds like the school holidays came just in time. M can rest, sleep and re build now which is a very good thing. Some crochet in the evening now is so nice. You had a really good week, you had a fabulous harvest! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Ma Ingles in The Little House on the Prairie series used unripe pumpkin to make a mock apple pie. Also, one of my experiments when I taught kindergarten was to observe a green pumpkin as it ripened. We would predict how many days it would take for it to turn orange. The kids loved watching the transition over time. My dog loves pumpkin in any form, ripe or unripe.:)

    3. Dear Marley, Thankyou so much for this information. I will store them with the others and wait. Mock apple pie sounds good too - I have however got a basket of apples on my bench so I might let the pumpkins just be pumpkins but I will write this down for other years. Most of them are the of the crookneck variety and are quite a good size and the "neck" parts of them are terrific as they don't have the seeds in them, so you can just slice "rounds" and roast, it is fantastic to know I will have 12 more when they ripen. Happy Dance here. Thanks again, Clare.

  2. Annabel I love your fluffy butt roosters. We are not allowed roosters in town. I have been on a list for a honey bee hive but have just removed my name. It turns out that it against Council Bylaws to have a honey hive in town here. It's a huge fine if you ignore this rule. I am allowed to have a native beehive so I may end up with one of them.
    We had Costa from Gardening Australia visit our town this week. I got to meet him and have a little chat with him. He had been on the go for two straight hours but was still full of energy and enthusiasm. He was such a delightful man and a real down to earth person.
    I bought myself a mini greenhouse. It is basically a set of shelves with a plastic cover over them. I have filled a number of seed trays and these are in the little greenhouse. I emptied a large compost bin and had a wheelbarrow full of compost for the garden. I have topped up all the vegie beds with this. I planted all of my seedlings into the compost topped beds. They are already looking happy and established. I have plans to take a number of cuttings from some of my fruit and my nut trees. I will be putting these in the little greenhouse as well.
    Our son is back for Archery Nationals. We got the caravan all cleaned up and loaded up for him to take out to the Archery club grounds. He is camping out there for the week. I imagine we will see him when he needs to do his washing or add to the pantry. Getting the caravan ready for our son to use, made Bluey and I look at each other and realise how much we are looking forward to being able to get away again. It is still a while off as Bluey has a lot of healing left to do.
    I added several large fillets of reef fish to the freezer pantry this week. The fish was payment for taking up a local gentleman's trousers and sewing on some buttons to his yard shirts. He was most grateful for me doing this. I was most grateful for the fish.
    I made up a double batch of olive oil soap. One lot was pink and the other was cream, marbled with blue. It smells divine and looks pretty good too. This soap is curing in the laundry on top to the shelves.
    It's been an odd week where a lot of time has been spent in the garden and a lot of time I cant account for. I have added to the pantry in small ways. Every little bit counts.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, I loved the photo you had with Costa! It was fantastic! The greenhouse for your seedlings is really good. A great addition to your set up! You did a lot in the garden and the soap all looked beautiful. I think the caravan clean and set up took a lot of your time, that is where it went!
      Your trade with the man was so good. Obviously he was so happy and the fish built up your freezer supplies. I would be hoping he has a few more buttons fall off at this rate! haha!
      You did have a very productive week! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. I am so happy you found the jars you had tucked away. I agree that we must continue to stock and prep as things are getting worse. I saw five pounds f flour for $10.49 this week. That is almost unbelievable.

    We were able to get six jars of chicken pressure canned and six jars of broth. I want to do more but finding the chicken has been difficult. We had our neighbor to help one afternoon and got the yard work done and he shoveled out a big trash can of compost for us. Our 25 year old compost just gives and gives. The dogwood trees are blooming so everything is lovely here. The azaleas are just beginning.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, I think flour is destined to become very expensive... and flour based things like pasta... I know chicken is a big issue there. So far we are ok with chicken. You getting six jars canned and another six of broth was really good.
      How nice to have some help for an afternoon! The compost sounds fantastic and it sounds like Spring is kicking in! That is beautiful! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Dear Annabel,

    You had a very productive and busy week, dear friend. I admire your energy.

    I ended up with pneumonia, but am slowly healing. It seems forever with this stuff, but, in reality, it has been three full weeks. Two full weeks of no productivity, but brain work.

    This week, I put seed lists together and vacuum sealed 60 jars of food for the shelves. We buy large bags of organic coffee and put them in half gallon jars and vacuum seal them. Each week we grind eight different brands of beans and mix and match in coffee during the week. I have to have variety or I develop an allergic reaction if ingesting the same food or drink over and over. πŸ˜’

    Prices are certainly going up rapidly. We purchased some organic dry beans this week for $2.43 per pound, which is a very good price right now. Anything purchased today is a savings on next week's prices.

    The news is horrible. When I was little, my granddad and I watched westerns during the day. He was my primary care giver. I always loved it when the good guys with white hats won and the bad guys were either arrested or killed. People make choices and bad guys, who harm and steal, make choices based on evil values. I am hoping we see a lot of white hats soon.

    Our Spring will arrive eventually. John has planted twice as many garden seeds, in flats, this year. I have culinary and medicinal herbs all around the yard. This year I have a committed large space for perennial medicinal herbs. I am putting a book together for my children and grandchildren to use for healing herbs.

    May God bless all of the Bluebirds abundantly. Have a wonderful week all.


    1. Dear Glenda, I am so sorry you have been so sick. I cant believe you still got 60 jars sealed and on to the shelves! That is a lot and very good. You are going to feel knocked out for a while after pneumonia. Dont push too hard!
      I loved those old tv shows. Bring back the posse I say where the bad guys were rounded up!
      The garden sounds wonderful. Your book will be such an asset! I would like to see it myself! I hope you are feeling much better and have a very good new week. With much love Annabel.xxx

    2. "I am hoping we see a lot of white hats soon." Yes indeed Glenda!

  5. I made a sweet pea blanket, but mine's knitted and it's ginormous, about 7' x 5', it took me 2 years on and off to finish. I love Attic 24 designs, unfortunately crochet is beyond me. Your sweet pea blanket is lovely, I hope you get a lot of use from it.
    I had a reasonable week, I have been out every day dragging stuff home!
    I was thinking of making a planter for my front steps, but woodwork is not something that I excel at, so when I found a covered planter in Lidl, that will double as a cold frame, well it had to come home with me! It's already in use, housing comfrey cuttings.
    I bought a dress! I wasn't looking for a dress but I was walking past a shop, it was in the window and I instantly knew it was mine. I don't think that's ever happened to me before.
    I was trying not to buy toiletries or cosmetics this year, I want to reduce what I have and simplify, long term. But I am running out of rosehip seed oil and it's absolutely the only thing that's worked for my split nails, I daren't miss a days application(they were so bad I had to keep my nails painfully short and even then they'd split and catch on eveything), anyway I got some, locally for a good price and no postage.
    I realised that Aldi's premium butter was cheaper than they're basic one, it wasn't very cheap but the price is only going to go up,so I stocked up the freezer.
    I cleaned out, sorted and rearranged my freezer, now I can find things! I managed to use some plastic boxes I already had, i don't know how well they'll fare up, but they weren't doing anything else.
    I have sown chick peas, basil, rainbow chard and lemon balm and planted some sprouting ginger and I started some wine, a new thing for me.
    I was in our local mini supermarket the other day behind a lady at the self service checkout, she scanned a loaf of bread and it showed up as topside of beef and she paid for it!!!! She was apparently in a hurry, well it wouldn't have mattered what I was late for I wouldn't have paid. I was stunned. Don't the supermarkets make enough profit?

    Have a good week everyone.

    1. Dear Su, The blanket would be gorgeous knitted and what a size! Just wonderful. I am not a very good knitter.
      I like your description of dragging things home! The planter sounds perfect for what you need. And the dress! Now and then I see a dress that is just me. If I do I get it because when you want a dress and go looking then it is impossible to find. So this is a case of get when you can.
      Thank you for the tip on the rosehip oil. Andy gets split nails! My own nails need a lot of help too.
      Well done on all you achieved with the freezer, stocking the butter and the seed sewing.
      I dont know what that lady paid for the bread but oh my goodness!
      You had a good week! I hope you get a restful weekend and are ready for another productive week! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Dear Annabel,

    That blanket is just beautiful, and the colors are sweet pea colors to a "T"! Your chickens are gorgeous, and you have been very busy, as per usual, which helps keep us all encouraged. This week I sowed tomato and sweet + hot pepper seeds, transplanted some hot pepper and celery plants, got outside and did some yard work and harvested some kale and parsnips that had overwintered in the garden. The parsnips were beautifully sweet from all the "frost" they got all winter (and there are still lots more), and kale/white bean soup is on the menu for tonight. I sewed a couple of lobster placemats for Christmas presents (Nova Scotia is known for its lobster, so this is meant as a "from NS to you" present) and will hopefully sew two more this afternoon. I also started some birthday sewing, which I have to work on while the recipient is away. :) Made bread and muffins, got laundry hung on the line (hooray for the return of laundry hanging season!), washed all the outside windows on the main floor (thank goodness; they were disgusting!), and organized the annual furnace maintenance, so I can tick that off my list for the year. I have been on a media fast for the last two weeks, and my life has been so much better, as I don't have all the crazy headlines continually whizzing around my head and I'm not compulsively checking the news to see if there is any glimmer of hope on the horizon. (Don't worry...I still get all the main items relayed to me from various sources, but I don't get bombarded incessantly, which has helped me to just focus on my "circle of control" and to listen to God's voice guiding my day, rather than all those other voices. It's wonderful.)

    Love to check in here each week to see how you and all the other bluebirders are getting along, each making their own spaces havens of comfort and joy.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Our area is also known for Lobster. If you get a chance... look up Kingston SE South Australia... the big lobster. Trust me on this. That is half an hour from us. Kingston and Robe and cray fishing towns.
      I did not know this about parsnips. I love them. I am re attempting them! I have just the space and I can plant now according to my gardening book (for our climate.)
      Your birthday sewing sounds very interesting! You got heaps done! Clean windows are glorious they make such a difference!
      Gods voice guiding you is much better than the news channels for sure. Most of the news channels are not even trustworthy anymore. Ours push a lot of evil actually. We can go ahead with certainty knowing what God would have us do and using wisdom and prayer. With this, it is Sunday here and I am planning my week this way. With much love Annabel.xxx

    2. Ha, ha! That big lobster is great! Thanks for the suggestion to look it up! xx Jen.

  7. I love your afghan...so pretty! I have to look up attic 24. Sometimes it takes a long while to finish projects. I need to improve on finishing them! Have a great weekend

    1. Dear Vickie, Attic 24 is just beautiful. All he blankets are stunning. It is so nice to finish up projects, this one didnt take long at all. Then on to new projects! Have a lovely week to you too! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. The blanket is gorgeous. I love the colors you chose I've followed Attic24 for awhile & really enjoy her creativity. I agree with 'busy hand, happy hearts'. Busy hands in the evenings also help not snack so much....my weakest time of day. I've been making seed packets from old book pages to use myself & gift to garden friends.

    Do you freeze your little meatloaves before you bake them or after?

    My grandson stays with me 3 days a week & we always stop & talk to the neighbors calves as we slowly drive the last little bit home. They are so much fun to watch.

    A friend has been giving me blue eggs for Easter from her hens the last few years. She brought some this past week...what a treat! I always blow the eggs out to save because they are just so lovely.

    Don't you just love 'finding' treasure in your own house! Glad you found those jars.

    1. Dear Jenny,
      I love the sound of your seed packets from old book pages!! You have inspired me! I have visions of how this would look!
      I cook the meatloaves then freeze. Then it is just a thaw and heat up job.
      How nice you have your Grandson three days. He would love the calves! I think I need some of these blue egg laying chickens! How stunning!
      I have the jars washed and lined up. One of my missions this week is to being filling them.
      Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Your blanket and wash clothes are so lovely! The roosters are fantastic. I believe you have fancy breeds. I wanted to thank you for sharing photos of your new coops last week. So inspiring!
    Congratulations on your continued harvest and on so much baking.
    Where do you find a buy, swap, and sell? Is it Facebook market place? A few weeks when you shared about this venture, I couldn't find anything like it in my area (northern Ohio, U.S.A.)

    We have done well with saving on expenses through homemade foods, bread baking,bone broths, home hair cuts, refreshing leftovers, hanging laundry (indoors on rainy days), harvesting wild chives from the local park and replanting them. I've been busy growing veggies from food scraps too! Mary's Nest on YouTube has a wonderful video on this.
    I saved by making kombucha. I have been making it for sometime and have finally got the recipe right for my family's palate. Also I find that decanting the kombucha into individual glass bottles (like the ones sold at the market) are so handy. Ask around, you may have a friend, like me, that drinks kombucha but has no desire to make it. They might have extra bottles.
    The best way I saved was buying a pink crocheted baby blanket at the thrift store. It was in perfect condition and in a lovely stitch. And while I crochet, I don't always have the time now. I sewed up some burp cloths from some lovely flannel and tucked it into a box to mail to the new parents. Funny thing is, I bought the blanket BEFORE I knew of my friend's new baby. God is good!
    Blessings to all bluebirds,
    Prayers to for Laine and all Ukrainians

    1. Dear Lesley,
      Thank you so much! I would first try reaching Facebook with the name of your town or area buy, swap, sell... try are few names or combination and see if anything comes up. Now on FB there are symbols on your home page one is a little house... that is market place. You can set that for your area. I have mine set to my closest town and a 60kilometer radius. I check this twice a day... all kinds of stuff is on there in the area, Heaps of it is free or cheap. I would look for local farmers markets and produce stalls as well. I can see Ohio buy sell and trade. But be more specific to your town...
      You had a very productive week and the pink blanket was a beautiful find! Soft flannel burp cloths would be lovely. I am off to check out Marys Nest thank you! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Hi Annabel. That blanket is gorgeous! I can't get enough of your fancy chickens! And lucky you getting to baby-sit Ralph. I miss baby calves so I'm quite envious! My week has been a full one. I've been spring cleaning - one room at a time - along with coaxing the gardens along. We are getting so dry here. I had set out as many buckets as I could find to catch rain water as that really helps the new plants off to a good start. They are doing okay but won't thrive until we get some real rain I'm afraid. One vlog that I follow and learn from is Dirtpatchheaven.

    I ventured in to town today, mostly to check things out. Gasoline is down to $3.54/gallon. Oh great! I noticed that grocery prices are still on the rise. But. Our Walmart is re-doing their store so there were quite a few mark-downs. For instance evaporated milk for .25 cents and the good kind of spray paint was $l.00 a can. From our grocery store I picked up some beef roasts as they were $3.99 a pound again. So canner and jars are pulled out and will be put to good use in the morning.

    Last week at my favorite thrift store I found a few treasures. The best one was a pair of crutches, really nice ones that can adjust to fit Greg's height (he's 6'4") for a whopping $2.00. That is in case his back problem gets worse. Then I picked up 4 like-new baby blankets for $l.00 which I will turn into wipees. That's about it for my week. Now I get to check what everyone else has been up to. Oh, I am still finding empty jars to fill up and thanks very much for that idea! Have a good week, everyone!

    1. Dear Pam,
      It is dry here now and we need rain too. I will check out Dirtpatchheaven thank you. I love to find new good things to watch.
      The price on evaporated milk is amazing! Good to see you had some great deals.
      You had great finds! And I am glad you found more jars to fill! That is going to be part of my week... I washed up these jars and will work on filling them over the next couple of weeks. With much love Annabel.xxx

  11. I just love that blanket Annabel 😍 I tried hard to teach myself to knit and crochet. I was better at knitting even though many people told me crochet was easier, but to be honest I was bad at both πŸ˜‚ At least I can sew!!

    You’ve inspired me to make a fruit cake sometime this week, and mini meatloaf..why have I never heard or thought of that 🀷‍♀️ I’ll be trying that too! How long do they take to cook?

    My full pantry has come to the fore once again, as our son has tested positive to covid just this morning, he is ok, just a headache and a sore throat, but now our whole household has to isolate for 7 days! Besides fresh milk, we have plenty of everything, so not being able to go to the supermarket won’t be an issue, our neighbour will get us milk if we need it.

    It keeps happening to me (likely because of your influence on preparedness) that I am better at getting on top of things and I’m choosing not to wait anymore, if I need something or need to do something I just do it, and it is paying off week in, week out! I thank you so much for your advice and encouragement in this space Annabel, may God continue to bless you.

    From Cheryl

    1. Dear Cheryl, Sewing is good! The small sized meatloaves take less than half an hour to cook but Ill say half an hour.
      I hope your son will be ok and you stay well. I am glad you are prepared and isolating for 7 days will be ok for you. It is good to have neighbours who will drop things off it you need them.
      Good job on keeping on top of things. It is a good feeling. I like to find things each day that get me ahead. It might be wrapping a present or paying some bills, anything, but something extra. It really adds up. Have a good new week Cheryl, With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Oh Annabel your new roosters are just adorable and I love that you are matching their colours with the females you already have and for free that is fantastic. Lovely you were able to give one to a friend as well.

    The blankets and cleaning cloths are beautiful and glad you got the blanket finished for the colder months ahead and they are such pretty colours. What a blessing the trading is for you to be able to swap things you have plenty of for things you need. Your baking and cooking ahead will save so much time on busy days so you have ready to eat heat up meals in the freezer.

    It finally fined up for a few days here so we were able to get out in the yard and do some work out there and yes the rainwater tanks are full to overflowing which is another blessing :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - We baked 4 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machine saving $13.96 on usual prices.
    - Cooked all meals from scratch.

    Deep cleaning -
    As us and my car got caught in floodwaters on a medical trip it kind of looked like we had been mud rallying in it we decided to clean it. We just turned around and stayed in a motel overnight but the roads were all muddy with shallow floodwater on them.

    - I vacuumed the car, DH cleaned the inside vinyl and door sills and where the doors close with hot soapy water and cleaned the interior of the glass windows and windscreen. We then cleaned the outside glass and gave it a good wash. It now looks sparkly clean once more.

    Purchases -
    - Bought a lovely lined linen and lace dress on end of season clearance at Noni B for $15 saving $134.99 on usual prices.
    - I used $20 off our shopping which was rewards $ on my grocery card to purchase 1kg of cheese, 1kg of bacon, some bananas for DH and bought a hummingbird cake on markdown for $2.80 reduced from $7. The total with discounts we paid out of pocket was $3.11. With all our discounts combined we saved $24.80 on usual prices.
    - Purchased 2 x cans of cat food for .95c from the reject shop saving $1.10 on usual prices. If our cat likes this brand we will swap to that brand to save more on pet food costs.

    In the gardens -
    - DH pruned the 2 star jasmine and a lilac shrub with the petrol powered hedge trimmer.
    - DH got out into the yard and double mowed the larger part of the property with the ride on lawn mower as the grass was 70 - 80 cm deep in some places. We still have the house paddock to mow next week.

    Hope everyone has a good week ahead :) .


    1. Dear Lorna,
      How good to have full rain water tanks! We need rain and I would love to see my tanks full!
      I am glad you got your car clean. Floodwaters are so dangerous I am glad you staying in a motel for the night.
      Your new dress sounds just beautiful! What a deal! You got some much for your $20 off! Good shopping! Also great to save on the pet food.
      After so much rain it must be nice getting work done in the garden. I would love a lilac bush. Just stunning. I do have jasmine which is going quite well.
      I hope you have a good week ahead too. I am thinking on my plan of attack today and enjoying a beautiful day. With much love Annabel.xxx

  13. Dear Annabel, I love your blanket. It is magnificent. One day I want to make a blanket, or two! But I am sticking to dish cloths at the moment. I have to build up speed first. I love how you found more jars. You will have so much put away. I am on the look out for different spaces that I can utilise for storage. We don't have a lot of room, but I am hoping I have found a new spot for laundry powder at the top of a cupboard. Well done on finding those roosters. We are looking out to buy some chickens and I think many are, so chickens would make great gifts/swaps/sales etc. I love how you went to the swap tables. This would help many out in the community. I was on a FB page and found two free ceramic pots for free. So I roped my husband in and we collected them and at the time she said would you like some arts and craft bits and bobs as well as I am just going to throw them out....I of course said yes, please lol. I scrubbed them up the morning with a little helper and I hope that I can plant them out tomorrow. Another lady was giving away some shorts, and then said here are some other clothes if you would like to go through them. This will help in the future as they are a size or 2 bigger than ones needed for the kids at the moment. I have also given away some sports equipment and will give away some children's books and an old bike. Hopefully this makes others happy too. The news is dreadful, so I am working hard each day and trying to be outside when I can. Lots of love, Lily XX

  14. I understand the dehydrating, but am clueless how to use the dehydrated food and how to cook with it. Can you share? do you rehydrate before using it, etc.?

    1. Hi, so far all my dehydrated goods I have dropped into my cooking ie quiche (sun dried tomatoes) stock, soup or casserole... and they rehydrate as the meal cooks. They have been so good. Just make a note of how much you have in the jar as it doesn't look like much but rehydrates to a lot! xxx

  15. My husband and I both had a mild flu bug last week. Nothing terrible but just enough to keep me at maintenance housework only. I purchased a case of six half-gallon wide mouth Ball jars a couple weeks ago when I saw they were back in stock. They hadn't had any of the wide mouth for awhile. I need to do some Spring cleaning before Easter guests arrive next week but then those jars are getting washed and filled. I love them for dry goods that get used a lot. I LOVE your roosters!!!

    1. Dear Brenda, There are times when maintenance level is a big achievement in itself! I hope you are feeling much better. It was great you could get those jars! I like the wide mouth jars by far the best also! Have a beautiful Easter with your guests. With love Annabel.xxx

  16. Hi I recently found your blog, it is so nice to find that other people prepare 'down under'. I am in NZ and I seem to be the only person I know that is building up their stocks. I have tried to tell others to, but get such a weird look and been called a hoarder, so now it is a secret, lol. Maybe because I am in a small rural town?
    Anyways, this week I have been pottering with dehydrating apples and herbs, (still recovering from the C. The tiredness is lingering on. ) I discovered a lovely herbal drink using a slice of dehydrated apple with dried mint is so refreshing.
    I love your Sweet Pea Afghan, I am on my second one, they crochet up so quickly. Your dishcloths remind me that I need to make more. Those chooks look so cute, are their eggs small? That is a great idea in making the meatloaves individual size. Our supermarket Countdown our Woolworths) had mince and chicken breast on special both were $14 a kilo. They have been about $18. Think I will nip out and get another pack and make meatloaf!

    1. Dear Zana, Welcome I am so glad to have you here!! We have a few NZ Bluebirds! Just today I was reading an article "Soaring food and fuel prices destabilising countries on the brink." The list of countries is so long and it is early yet. I cannot figure out anyone not stocking... the prices of food are higher each trip to the store! Maybe they think the prices will come down? But that would be to ignore the supply chain issues, the war with Russia and Ukraine and two years of lockdowns and interruptions. Now also fertiliser issues... parts for tractors... you cant even buy a tractor! So if others are ignoring all this well I am glad you are not!
      I am sorry you had covid. I know it can really knock you out and take a long time to recover. Just as long as you are steadily building back up is the main thing.
      I added some grated zucchini into m meat loaf, egg and breadcrumbs... cheese on top... which makes the mince go quite a long way. The bantam eggs are about 3/4 the size of a normal chicken egg, I also have mostly regular chickens... but my bantams are important as they are the ones who hatch the eggs and mother the chicks mostly. Here it is cheaper to buy a whole chicken than the breast. So I get the whole thing then I can make a lot of meals. Also for some reason... the chicken in the deli section is often cheaper than in the meat section. Go figure!
      You crochet too! I have dehydrated apple and had not thought about using some in tea and I love tea! Thanks so much for commenting, love Annabel.xxx

  17. Such cutie patootie roosters! And the blanket really is beautiful! 😍
    This week I'm spring cleaning, sewing a bit, babying my seedlings, and am on the lookout for jars that I spread throughout my house to use for more dry goods! I was using my large old jars for vases, so they really are all over the place! Last week I found a box of the small jelly jars at Walmart along with the Ball Blue Book. I'll be ready when the fruit is ready! Thank you again for the inspiration!
    Xoxo Stacy

    1. Dear Stacy, The Ball Blue book is a fantastic book to have. I found and filled more jars this week! I have some similar jars just smaller... so now I am eyeing those for dry goods also. Your week sounded very nice.. I hope the seedlings are coming on! With love Annabel.xxx

  18. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    I am quite late posting this week, but still wanted to pop in and see how everyone's week was. What a gorgeous blanket! That is just beautiful, Annabel. Your new roosters are so pretty, too. And I love all the cooking you were able to do. What a good week.

    I hope everyone has a good week!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Thank you! I hope your week is going well too, it has been busy here but we have gorgeous weather and it is just so nice to get things done in the garden. I hope to have plenty to report tomorrow! With love Annabel.xxx


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