Feather your Nest Friday, 13th May, 2022.

Every week has something,  this week it was Lucy had some surgery.  I pray and have faith but I still worry and get anxious.  So I had a couple of anxious days.  She is doing well though! 

When stressed the absolute last thing I can do is sit and worry.  I am much better doing useful things that might somehow help.  Keeping busy in general.   So I had a week of cooking! 

I made Mum her Gluten Free Scones for Mothers Day.

The spotty ones have Sultanas.  Mum freezes them so she has them on hand. 

I made my son in law a Lasagne to help him out.

And three more, individual sized Lasagnes for my niece Allie.   I made her some cup cakes too.

She came over to clean our chimney before I light the first fire of the season.  She also cleaned our gutters.  This was our trade.  We also have a nice dinner together and I made a chocolate cake for desert.  

Then I made 24 Sausage Rolls.   Chloe and Luke got some.  It is Harper's birthday and sausage rolls are my contribution to the lunch.  

Each thing I made I tried to get as many meals as possible.  

Chloe asked me to cover a cushion for Thomas' new room.  The theme is farmer with a lot of tractors...

There is a heat pack in this photo.   That was also for Allie... she wanted a long one to go across her shoulders.  I know the feeling so I tried it out on myself. 

In the garden I am harvesting broccoli and it is good! 

These have grown well in my container gardens.   However these first ones battled moths until I made my cloches to cover them.  Still they grew ok and produced.   The cloches works perfectly on the smaller plants.   I needed to cook up something for when the plants reach a larger size.

Ebay to the rescue.  I found nylon bags...  they are huge and cover a plant easily.   For demonstration purposes I popped one over my Basil.

For reference this one is 1metre high x 80cm wide.  It is so simple I don't know why I didn't think of this.  Nothing can get through.   Now I will begin making them,  old nylon or net curtains would be perfect for these!   And a great gift for any gardener!   I don't want spays on my food.  I also don't want to lose my crop to bugs.  What an easy solution!!  

We filled the main hen house with shredded paper and hay so that when the rain comes it won't turn into a soggy mess.   We were about half way here but I took the photo because Zackie waited patiently at the door so sweetly. 

I decided that the chooks need at least two hours a day free ranging.  This is sort of a compromise that balances the cost of feed, health of the hens and danger of foxes. 

The hen house is about 100 metres from ourhouse.  Usually I walk up and down a couple of times a day.  I must have driven and fed them enough times that they associate the car with food as well as me... like today I was going to Chloe's so on the way I stopped the car and fed the hens.   The result of this is that they chase cars!   I am going to have to try and get a video of this but they run absolutely flat out and the ducks fly along keeping up.   This might be some new security measure as I am pretty sure some people will find this a bit intimidating!  

We are having front gates made.   There are timber shortages and so we have used our own fallen timber to make the posts. 

These were cut today.  So exciting!  

I used a bright torch (flashlight) to "candle" the eggs in the incubator.  This was new for me!  It looks like I have chicks in about half the eggs.  It reminded me of a scan.  The eggs with no chick... the light just went through the egg uninterrupted.  The others looked to be about half full of something.  Hopefully chickens!   I admit to wanting to do this again and again but think I had better leave them alone! 😊

We had some rain and things are looking better and better!  

How was your week?  How did you build up your home, pantry, garden or supplies?    

Have a lovely weekend! xxx

For those that know Laine.... She was unwell with a bacterial infection after her surgery. This set her back and she lost more weight.   Her cancer is stage 3 which means she has treatment ahead.  This was a blow.  She needs prayer to gain weight and strength so she can begin this treatment in the next few weeks.  She is so appreciative of prayers.xxx


  1. The car chasers are hilarious! It would surely intimidate me and I would not stop or get out! So glad you had rain. We need it badly but every time it is near it goes around us. Have a good weekend!

    1. Thanks Lana. I hope you get some rain, last night we got some more and it is adding up. I love seeing everything green! Have a good new week! xxx

  2. Well it might have been a stressful week Annabel, but it was productive! I hope Lucy is healing well and resting as much as is possible with three children.

    My week has not been that productive, but I have finished my rug. I am struggling to decide where to make the next one for! Decisions never were my forte.

    I finished knitting a hat, now this is a hat for indoors! If fuel prices go up as much as they say (and certainly my fuel company want enough money out of me) I won't be able to heat the house properly but I have no intention of freezing without looking stylish! The coordinating hot water bottle cover is almost complete too. Next up will be some fingerless mitts.

    I also put up some of those small plastic storage containers usually used in workshops for screws and bolts etc, now I will be the first to admit that that won't hold masses of stuff, but they do utilise a previously unused space in my 'pantry', they are actually attached to the underside of my stairs! I am actually really pleased with the result, very neat and orderly.

    I bought some reduced price raspberries this week and was appalled to realise that the regular price was £14 a kilo and that's in Aldi! I love raspberries so it's a good job I have lots of raspberry canes, unfortunately it's a little bit early yet.

    My best wishes to Laine, a colleague of mine has had to stop chemo as her platelet levels are too low. I do hope Laine can put on some weight,but it can't be easy.

    Take care everyone and have the best week possible.

    1. Dear Su, Well done on finishing your rug. I think a bedside rug is very nice if that helps! Newer open plan homes make it hard but in winter we dont try to heat the whole house we shut doors of unused rooms. Same in summer... just cool the rooms we need. But we could reduce this further... I think one room that is kept comfortable is ok and we can survive. I think it is terrible this is what we are being reduced to and we do not have freezing conditions. It scares me how bad it could be for millions of people with sub zero temperatures.
      I think your under the stairs storage is brilliant! I hope your raspberries take off and grow well.
      Laine is a little better thank you for praying! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Dear Annabel
    Laine & Lucy will be in my prayers.
    Those scones look so good! We got some more blueberry bushes to add to the ones we have and I am hoping to get some more Gooseberry bushes and another cooking apple tree soon.
    Our hen went broody about two weeks ago, so we may have more chicks too :)
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Love, Heidi xxx

    1. Dear Heidi, Thank you! The berry bushes will be great to have, hopefully they produce a lot. I really hope you get chicks!! I dont know if mine will hatch but if they do it will be this weekend! It is a learning curve I guess!
      Have a good new week and thanks for praying for Laine and Lucy. With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Laine remains in my prayers 🙏

  5. I will be praying for Laine!

    We went from an unusually cold, wet spring to record breaking hot weather in the 90s literally overnight. At least our farmers will finally be able to plant their crops. The weather is so unpredictable now, it makes me wonder what it will be like when ready to harvest.

    1. Dear Brenda, Wild fluctuations in the weather are hard to deal with. Farmers are sure having a hard time. I hope the crops go in and are a success. There are already so many gaps in the food chain without further crop losses. We have an issue that harvesters and spare parts are impossible to get which is going to get interesting going forward. Hope you have a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. I have some nylon bags I will use to protect my plants as well. I put bird netting over my strawberries as they are beginning to ripen. And more bird netting over some lettuce that the squirrels keep digging up. Both are finally able to grow.

    I also started some come & go lettuces on my screened porch. A friend of mine suggested this because it is getting too hot for lettuce here but we eat a lot of it.

    I'm thinking about buying a small walk in green house for the coming winter to grow salad greens in as well & to start seedlings earlier next spring.

    1. Dear Jenny, I am thinking we have to do whatever we can to protect the plants and harvest. I am saving old net curtains for more protection in Spring and next summer. Really I am amazed how some simple protection works so well. Your screened porch sounds like a wonderful place for your lettuces. I am also thinking about a little green house! A few friends have done this with very good results. I think it would be a very good investment. These are all additions to our pantry in a way too... I think growing food and producing is maybe the wisest thing of all! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds,

    Thank you for the lovely photos and encouraging words!

    My little container garden is producing some small slicing size tomatoes, as well as cherry and other tiny tomatoes that are lovely in salads or to eat as a snack. Basil and green onions are thriving. Most of the lettuce has bolted with the heat, but I have enough young plants for at least a meal. I have been enjoying giving starts of basil, green onions, lilies and irises to people on our Buy Nothing Facebook group. I received some grapes, broccoli, 1/2 head of cabbage and a few zucchini from the group.

    I purchased a spiral sliced ham for $.99 a pound and shared half of it with friends who were in need of some meals brought in right now due to health concerns along with money being tight. I figured the ham would be very versatile to use for meals.I also took along a few of the frozen corn dogs I had received from Buy Nothing thinking they would make easy lunches. I had a pound of cheddar and of Swiss cheese as well as a package of raisins from my neighbor's food box extras. There was lots more, but you get the idea. With my keeping a frugal pantry and the generosity I have been shown, I was able to put a lot together for my friends with very little out of pocket. The mom was so thrilled and thankful! She told me a couple times that I had brought them food for a month.

    Wishing you all a lovely weekend!
    Elaine from Arizona

    1. Dear Elaine , what a kind friend you are to make up that lovely food parcel !
      Love Maria 🤗

    2. Dear Elaine, It is just amazing how much a small container garden can produce! That is great! I am so happy you have a buy nothing group too! The seedlings and bulbs would be very popular. Tomorrow I am taking eggs to the swap tables, it is always exciting! The ham was a wonderful price! Very good of you to share with someone who needed some help and Im sure it helped them a lot. The beauty of having a good pantry and making the most of everything! What a nice week! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. I always look forward to your Friday news! I wish my daughter would make me some GF biscuits! I use to make Pigs in a Blanket so want to try that again with GF flour. I am sorry Lucy had to have surgery but glad all went well. I will continue to pray for Laine. How discouraging that must be for her. I love how Rusty is your buddy. Such a sweet dog. Funny how your chick's chase the car. I continue to try to plant a bit each day as energy allows. ....Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, Planting a little each day will really quickly add up to a wonderful garden. The secret to GF biscuits is I add an egg. They rise like crazy this way. Not technically correct but hey they are good. Today I am cooking up a lot of pumpkin so I will make some pumpkin ones. I am looking forward to them already! With love Annabelxxxx

  9. Thank you so much for all that you share with us. It must be time consuming each week to type up add pictures etc. I have been following for several several years. I am always delighted each Friday to read what you’ve been up to. You have inspired me so much we have a fully stocked pantry and also have eggs for the first time in the incubator they are about to hatch this weekend. Last year we had hens given to us by (neighbor) that were already laying.
    However, they went back to the neighbor during the winter. This will be our first at growing our own chicks for eggs. I could go on and on about all that I learned from you over the last several years. Thank you so very much! Would you ever be able to in a post snap a picture of your recipes for the sausage rolls or your lasagna? They look wonderful!
    I would love if you would share more on how you actually store and freeze these items do you wrap them A special way ?
    Prayers for Laine.

    1. Thank you so much. It is so encouraging to me to hear that you have built up a pantry and all you are doing!! I know that moving forward this could make a world of difference to your family. It warms my heart! How exciting to raise your own chicks! Here is a little bit more info on my lasagne... it is very versatile. https://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-rose-by-any-other-name.html and more recipe and about how I freeze it here...
      https://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com/2017/04/pantries-and-preparedness-weekly.html?m=1 The key to freezing anything is make sure it is properly cold first. Wrap well and label. While lasagne is hard to cut neatly when its hot it cuts perfectly when it is cold and so good to freeze in individual portions! I hope this helps. Thanks for your prayers for Laine. I dont know your name so let me know if you reply, thank you for such a kind comment. love Annabel.xxx

  10. Morning Annabell,
    All the best to Lucy and Laine in their recovery and treatment. Keeping busy when stressed always helps. Cleaning and gardening are my go to's when I am anxious.
    A good week here. I got all of my back garden weeded. I purchased and sowed mustard seed in the vegetable garden for winter.
    I also used my voucher for the local garden centre, getting Yates 50 Edible Plants in Containers book ,which I have wanted for ages,along with a new pair of gardening gloves.
    We seem to be being hit with one expense after another at the moment. It started with needing to renew our passports due to my brother becoming unwell. He lives on the Gold Coast. My parents are not up to airports and travel now,so I wanted us to be ready if we need them. Fortunately he is making a good recovery. We then had to replace my laptop, which I use for work, we need to get an electrician in and now we need to replace our vacuum cleaner hose. Still we are fortunate to have the funds to do this and not big problems in the scheme of things. Just means a slow down to the savings.
    We have been enjoying lovely Autumn weather here but this weekend is set so will be inside jobs instead of working in the front garden.
    Have a good week everyone.


    1. Dear Mandy, Sorry I am so late replying. What a week its been. The book sounds fantastic! I had not heard of it but I might look for it!
      I am glad your brother is going ok but I can see it would be good to have passports incase you needed to travel urgently.
      I think things breaking down or needing replacing comes in threes! We have aways said that. I hope you dont have any more surprises! Yes you are smart having a fund for emergencies. I have loved Autumn. Really it has been beautiful. It is just that much colder now and I lit the fire today. Time to change over to mainly indoor jobs for me too! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. The Broccoli is gorgeous. What a great idea with the bags. My Spinach is getting demolished right now.

    I will be praying for Lucy and Laine. Husband just had major heart surgery so I can relate.

    How exciting your new gate will be with your own wood! Lovely post as always.

    1. Thank you! I hope your husband is doing well. It takes a long time to get over major surgery. One day at a time. Thank you for your prayers.xxx

  12. Dear Annabel, Lucy and Laine are in my prayers. I've had a slow week with a flare up of my Ross River fever symptoms. Monday I spent the morning in bed with both wrists and hands too painful to do much. I learnt a lesson from this because after resting it did go away, so now I know I must stop, I find this hard and frustrating but I will have to do it. I tried out my dehydrator with two bananas and some apple this week, I am looking forward to using it more. My husband trimmed our large lemon tree - we didn't realize there were so many already ripe lemons on it, so I have been washing them to give away and some to sell, juicing them etc This morning I drove up the road to a neighbor's farm to feed their old dog while they are away, the lady of the house had made the most beautiful bouquet of yellow and purple flowers with a little greenery from her garden along with a card of thanks and a pumpkin. I certainly wasn't expecting that but it was so nice. On the way home I had to stop my car to let five Emus cross the road. I tried to get a photo (it didn't turn out very well). I have only ever seen two together at once here. I loved seeing that. The photo you took of Zackie is very cute. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      I am sorry you have been unwell and hope you are feeling much better. Sometimes rest is a must. It is hard when we have so much we need to do. But resting when needed is necessary. I am so happy you got to test run your dehydrator! It sounds like you had so many lovely lemons! I just love that you were given a bunch of flowers and a pumpkin for looking after the dog. Beautiful. When we are driving near Lucys we often have to stop for Emus. I love seeing them too! Sorry I have been so slow to reply Clare, it has been a difficult week. With much love Annabel.xxx

  13. Dear Annabel, your baking is beautiful. What a wonderful gift of love and help for your family. I love the nylon bag idea too.

    This week I had Meyer lemons to use up. I turned them into lemon curd and lemon syrup cake for lovely morning teas all week.

    Sending love to Lucy and Laine.

    With love from,
    Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

    1. Dear Mrs. Kiwi, Lemons are amazing. Lemon curd and Lemon Syrup Cake both sound just beautiful! Thank you for praying I appreciate that. With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Sausage rolls, egg candling and a tractor cushion - seems a pretty typical week in The Life of Annabel! I love your energy!
    We had a couple of days away this week, in the town where I grew up, and it was lovely to revisit old haunts and catch up with my sister and some old friends. I do feel better, having had a real change of scenery. I'd been feeling a little twitchy, I must admit, lacking concentration and stickability, but I feel refreshed and ready to keep moving now.
    Today I planted out about 80 tulip bulbs, all reds and oranges, which I love best. They will be spectacular in spring, and something to look forward to.
    But - we also had to call a plumber, when my husband discovered a major water leak in the laundry. Looks as if the flooring will have to come up in there and the adjacent bathroom. It was installed just a year ago, so that's not good news!
    Best wishes for a good week, to you, Lucy and Laine.
    Linda in NZ

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thanks Linda. I have run out of energy today I have to say!
      So nice you had time with your sister and friends! Planting 80 Tulips was a big job but they will be beautiful! Oh no on the flooring. I hope insurance will cover this! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. I hope Lucy has recovered well from her surgery.

    That Zackie melts my heart ❤️ what a good boy he is!

    I love the sewing project you did, there is another handy skill you have that you could trade with!

    Thank you for updating us about Laine, I have prayed for her to gain weight and strength.

    Not much happening at our house this week as we took a quick trip to Tamworth for a few nights, we are thinking about moving there in a couple of years time and wanted to look around with “buyers eyes”

    Have a lovely week Bluebirds 🐦

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you for praying for Laine. I hope the trip helped you plan for your move. A good idea to look around and see what you think. I imagine Tamworth is a very good regional town with everything. Many thanks, with love Annabel.xxx

  16. Hello Annabel and lovely Bluebirds,

    I pray for Chloe and Laine and hope all will be well.

    I admire how productive you are and that is very inspirational for me. Thank you for the great pictures - your babies are all wonderful - but can I ask one with Scout, too?

    We keep working in the garden - now the orchard is well set we make hay (literally) so won t be a problem feeding during the winter. The strawberries are all in full bloom, same the apple trees, the cherries and the quince tree, the bees are humimng all day long. A true joy to be out everyday and forget about all the problems in the world.

    The war is still going on and we are very alert - so many tragic stories we hear about dead children or parents shot in front of the families - the russians are destroying mostly civil buildings and whole cities in the eastern part of Ucrain - so not close to our border. But far from ending the war.

    The prices for everything are huge - we have 14 percent inflation and they say the worst is yet to come. Being out of our control we can just prepare, dont panic and take care. Lucky to have a nice home, a nice family and hope for the future.

    Today I will plant some tomatoes and basil. Still knitting in the evenings and reading or painting whenever I can in between.

    Have a nice weekend, my friends. With love, Laura_s_world in Romania

    1. Dear Laura, It is Friday already and I will take a photo of Scout just for you!
      I am so glad you have your beautiful garden and hay. Also so good to be planting tomatoes and basil. You are doing very well as there must be great tension around you. Knitting and keeping busy is so very good. There are so many things we can do to improve things for our family. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed but a steady pace each day gets so much achieved. I am praying and glad you are ok in your area. Thank you for reporting what you are hearing and seeing. With much love Annabel.xxx

  17. Prayers for Laine.
    Potatoes and onions planted. Seeds will be going in this weekend- green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, kale, beets, kolarabi, pea pods, and radishes. Tomatoes, peppers, and basil plants will be picked up this coming Friday and then they will be planted. The pear and cherry trees we planted last year have survived, leaves are starting to pop out. We had a very cold and snowy winter so there was concern they may not survive. I canned tomato sauce from frozen tomatoes from last year- got 7 pints. I did some mending. It has been warm here with storms. Lots of rain and many downed trees. We have been fortunate to come out with no damage.
    JulieT from Minnesota

    1. Dear Julie,
      Your garden is going to be beautiful and so productive! What a great variety! I am glad the fruit trees are still going too! I am glad you didn't have damage from the storms. We dont get snow so I cant imagine how to keep trees alive or if there is some way to protect them though the worst of it. I hope everything you are purring in does very well! With love Annabel.xxx

  18. Dear Annabel, I will continue to pray for Laine. I hope Lucy is ok and recovering well. It is hard recovering and mothering at the same time. You are lovely to help out family with meals- these are the best gifts. I love the idea of the nylon bags. I am thinking I should do this too....I am seem to always be surprised at the grocery store, prices just keep on going up. I feel lucky that we don't want for much. Simple is beautiful. Sending love. Love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily,
      Thank you for praying. I am watching for betting to make more of the protective bags. I think lace curtains could look particularly good! I know... re the store and prices. We are seeing it and vegetables!! oh wow I cant believe the prices! Yes simple is good, simple and wholesome! With love Annabel.xxx

  19. I've been along time reader of Laine's Letters. My heart is aching for her, Art, Abbie, Gabe, and the rest of the family. My prayers are with them.

    1. Dear Kim, Thank you for praying. Laine and Art have Lucy who they adopted and she is still a young girl. Laine was sounding a little better which is encouraging and she is so appreciative of prayers! With love Annabel.xxx

  20. Annabelle,
    I so love your posts. I’m so grateful you have a place to thrive that your daddy built.
    I have been stockpiling longer than I have known about you, but you teach me the joy of the stockpile. God called me to start many years ago, and I am thankful for his wisdom. I never worried about having enough for my family.
    I felt that I should prepare for what I could and leave the rest to God and that gave me peace.
    I never felt the joy until I found your blog. As things got harder for you, you persevered with a happy heart. Such a wonderful lesson for me and I will always remember it.
    I cannot imagine a Friday without your post.
    Much love. Patti in California

    1. Dear Patti,
      Thank you so much. What a beautiful thing to say. You have done so well and prepared so long. This is just wonderful. I am glad you can feel the joy of it now. I look at jars lined up full of good things and I feel so much joy. I am thinking a lot about wise investments. A friend was here and we were discussing the things of the week and one thing was about bitcoin. I said give me a can of soup rather than a bitcoin! He laughed as he knew I was serious. Invest in wise things! Thank you so much your words have really helped me today as it has been a rough week! With love Annabel.xxx


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