Feather your Nest Friday, 10th June, 2022.

 I am not getting much done today as it is day 17 for my Quail eggs in the incubator and they are wobbling.  It is so crazy watching them wobble, but like waiting for the kettle to boil it is taking forever!   Andy asked could he get me a chair so I can just sit there! haha!  If I actually get Quail chicks I'll be beside myself! 

How was your week?  Mine was happily drama free.  I was so glad to just be able to get on with things and last weekend we had a big think and a serious "meeting."   Sometimes you have to have a step back and think what to do next.  From experience and from how things are shaping up I feel that we will likely see a shortage of generators,  jerry cans and such things.   Some things are worth more than gold in a crisis and these are some of those things.  If you have been thinking this is an investment you should make please do it right away.   After our state wide blackout there were no generators to buy for months.  At the beginning of a crisis is not the time to get these things.  BEFOREHAND is the time.  Also... (I can tell you from experience) during a crisis is not the time to learn how to work something.   Practice all the steps in nice calm times.  Get familiar.  Then when needed you have what is necessary and you put your plan into place.  Much easier.     We have been told to expect rolling blackouts due to an energy shortage, so they are telling us outright what to expect next.

So... we decided to invest in a couple spare generators,  jerry cans etc.  Andy got moving on that and as of tonight we have them.  And I am so glad.  I anticipate these being very important.  We already store fuel.  Whatever your plan is make sure you have all the components for it to work!   We already have worked at being less dependent on electricity.  We can keep warm, heat water and cook without any electricity or gas at all.  We have hand mixers and can openers.  Candles, flash lights and so on.   For a fast 30 day preparedness course see my index. 

Something else in the works has been planned for a while.  A couple of years ago we let a local guy come and mill up a big fallen tree.   I knew the wood was very good and it was too big for us to handle so I offered it to this guy who has a mobile saw mill and he makes stuff with it.    This year we started to think about how we could improve security.  One obvious thing was to put in some good gates at the front of the property.   We thought to ask this guy as he is a local and we have some fallen trees from recent storms that could probably make good fence posts.   The result is today construction began!

I said I would like the posts to be as big as the pieces of timber would allow.  And that I want it to say "this place is secure don't mess with us."  (If a fence could say that!) 

The gates have not been built yet.  They will be the best bit but I am so happy having this done! 

I finished my coat hangers.  Some are now in my gift cupboard and some are in my wardrobe.

I needed a new evening project so I started a blanket.

I made Peanut Butter Biscuits.

During the week I went into town and met my friend Wendy.  She gave me a huge beautiful bunch of Spinach.  We also had a very nice time!

From our weekend meeting I had a long list.  I bought big bags of Blood and Bone for the garden.  All the seeds I will need for Spring plus some extra.  Also seed raising mix,  a heap of winter vegetable seedlings and some Foxgloves as well.   Everything for Spring is stored in the greenhouse except for seeds which I keep inside.  I am so glad I have the container gardens!  I am confident with growing lettuces now.  Have you seen the price of lettuce!?   Speaking of... I am so happy I have my own hens and eggs!!  Someone said eggs will be worth silver and hens will be worth gold.   Within the week that basically became true! 

I harvested more celery and dehydrated it over the fire.  

The celery just keeps growing as I pick the outer stalks only.  It is producing an amazing amount.

I made scones for Mum when she came to visit.

Andy had a heating pad, from his brewing days.  He gave it to me to see if I could use it for chicks.  I gave it a test run.  It is warmer than the brooder plate but I can set it up a little higher and use it for older chicks and I'm sure it would get me out of a situation where I might not have enough brooders.  This could easily occur!

We had more rain, things are green and lovely.  I love the sound of rain on the roof especially at night.   

Now if my Quail would just hatch.  If I am awake in the night I will be checking on them with a torch. 
I think I've said "Andy come see the eggs rocking!" maybe one too many times. 😊

How was your week?  Were you able to build up your pantry or garden?  I hope opportunities came your way.  We need to be resourceful and adaptable.  If there are no eggs and lettuce is $12 we need a plan B.  It has happened to me that so much of my shopping list has been not available that I had a massive brain fade and came home with not much!   It is hard to think straight sometimes!    Now I keep a notebook.  My list is at the front...  but I have a few alternatives.  If I can't get something I will try something completely different.   The next pages have things we use and need plus things I know Mum and the girls both need.   I am not coming home empty handed instead I will stock up on vital supplies one way or another as we are lucky to have the opportunity.  Also the price we get things now is likely cheaper than down the track.  In Australia we know diesel prices will go up 22c in one day later this year.  Prices are going to keep rising.    

Have a nice weekend with some thinking and some planning. xxx


  1. Hello Annabel,
    I love your gate, especially the colour and the thickness of it. Looks sturdy, as it should look a gate of a very good household! I have already said that I like your coathangers and the ideea of a gift cupboard slowly but surely built up - this I have learned from you and saved me a couple of times.
    Very good ideea about preparedness and plan B. After reading your preparedness series we now have 3 ways of getting water - town water, our own hydrophore but on electricity and also a hand pump with very good fresh water if needed. Also the heating will be done 3 ways - with gas heatin, electricity or wood. All cost a lot but we will be carefoul and watch the best way - already have a good stock of wood and plan to get some more. Prices are all enormously high but we have the local market with fresh food so no big shortages for now.
    My container garden works very well and is much more bigger than last year - I planted in everything that could hold soil and water. I have potatoes, basil, 3 types of tomatoes, lettuce, strawberry, cellery, tarragon, mint, kohlrabi, thyme, cucmber, lavander. I have a lot of volunteer cherry tomatoes plants from the compost pile (more than 50) so I barter with a coleague at work for purple irises and kohlrabi plants. I am very happy and proud about my compost pile this year - already started two other piles for autumn and next year.
    Today is the first day of school summer holiday so my son is going to have some fun days although he plans to work some summer job. Life is better in summer.
    I keep myself busy everyday in the garden, in the kitchen, at work every day from 8 to 5, in the evening knitting the ordered cardigans, I made 6 jars of strawberry jam for winter - every day I add something for the pantry or do something to be prepared for what is ahead.
    My family is still in shock after the sudden death of my brother in law. Heart attack in 3 seconds at 57 years old. Unbelievable. And after a week of pain my nephew;s wife will be under surgical procedures as an urgency, even she has C19. Please send some good vibes to them.
    Sending love from Romania, Laura_s_world

    1. Dear Laura, I love that you have a hand pump and the wood heating option. You have a great plan. I also love that you planted up every container you have! And now you have so much! I found a new thing to try. Over summer I dehydrated so many tomatoes. They can be re hydrated in a little oil then made into a tomato pesto, just like basil pesto but with tomatoes! Over pasta this looks just delicious. So I am trying that.
      I hope your nephews wife has a successful surgery and no more pain. What an awful week that was.
      You are doing very well with your busy days, lovely evenings and adding to your pantry so much! It is wonderful you have orders for the knitting! You can further your projects with your extra earnings. You are doing an excellent job Laura! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Your fence is great, but could you dig a small ditch in front of it, or put big stones or even tree trunks in front? I have in the back of my mind that in the very worst case scenario then every possible precaution is needed as crime will be rampant. If someone knows you have supplies then... well, who knows? Sorry to be such a downer, but I feel strongly about this.

    I do hope the quail hatch successfully, I am still pondering keeping quail, but I did meet a beekeeper the other day( whilst looking at bikes!) A very enthusiastic beekeeper who was willing to help newbies out. So I have got his email address and I am off work for 2 weeks, so I may try to go over and have a good talk to him. I have a very small garden, but he felt certain there was some way round this.

    I bought 3 Bramley apples the other day and was horrified to realise that I had paid £1.20 each for them. That's a good lesson in checking prices and receipts.

    As for electricity, well I have just received last months bill, it cost me 3 times the amount of electricity actually used in the standing charge! I am wondering if I can do without electric entirely. Drastic, but I don't think it's impossible.

    Not a lot else happening here, but I hope everyone has a good week.

    1. Dear Su, I will post more photos as we progress. I do agree with you that desperate people do desperate things. I am very concerned about the price of meat... and we have livestock. Before all this livestock theft was already a thing. The fence and gates are a fair distance from the house as he driveway is long. We are trying to think of all these things...
      Your electricity bill sounds shocking. This is what we are expecting, except double. But who knows. Both bees and Quail would be fantastic advantages! How nice to meet someone who can help you! Someone said how times are different so we must do different things. Well this was simple but so true! Many thanks Su! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. JulieT from Minnesota10 June 2022 at 08:34

    The fence looks awesome, useful but has a purpose. That’s my mantra right now. Is it useful and does it have a purpose? Or am I just storing it and not using it? Then out it goes.

    I am also looking at anything I can use to can, dehydrate, or put up. I have plenty jars and lids as I stocked up, plus I do reuse the flat lids up to three times. I know it isn’t recommended but it works for me. We also have alternative sources for heat and cooking besides the natural gas and electricity.

    I purchased family packages of chicken legs for 99 cents/pound. Some were frozen and some were canned. I am not so worried with rolling black outs with electricity. My food in the freezers will remain frozen for a while if unopened. I think if we have them they will be for a few hours at a time hopefully. And we can use the generator if necessary but hope we don’t have to with the cost of fuel.

    We are spending a lot of time at home, gardening, working on repairs, and putting food up. This will continue all summer as we don’t feel the need to go anywhere. We live minutes from lakes so we do take an afternoon to go out and fish. This is relaxing and provides food if we are able to catch instead of just fish!

    I am also sewing and knitting working on gifts for birthdays and Christmas. I enjoy creating something homemade for someone when it is appreciated.

    Have a great week!

    1. Dear Julie,
      A good supply of jars is a great asset. I like your thinking and love that you are putting up anything you can. Me too!
      You got a great deal on chicken! You are right... a full freezer kept closed with stay solid for a long time. After that some top ups with the generator will keep it going.
      Living near a lake and being able to fish would be both beautiful and helpful! I would love that! By making things all year I think this is how we can really give a lot of handmade gifts. And it is so enjoyable! You had a great week Julie and lots of progress. With love Annabel.xxx

  4. So far no drastic grocery things “missing” but prices rising everywhere on everything.
    Will you consider continuing to hatch chickens for trade, barter, meat?

  5. Dear Annabel,
    Hmmm, had to sign in a bit differently to comment. I didn't comment last week as my day was just too full. Your fence will be wonderful and I'm sure you'll feel more secure with that and gates. Your rolling blackouts remind me of the rolling brownouts we had when I was a child in the 1970's.
    Your hangers are just lovely. I do hope you are successful at hatching quail. they are the cutest things with their topknots. Been very busy here with the garden. .Blessings, Laura

  6. A lovely friend gave me the gift of a small solar generator (it can be charged by plugging it in, too) and now I need to buy a small dorm room refrigerator. This will keep my insulin cold in an emergency.

    We had looked into getting a new water heater a few months ago since we knew ours was not working right, anymore. We finally got it installed yesterday, what a relief. I would hate for it to go out when none were available since it took awhile to get this one. I also have only one brand of sandals I can wear due to diabetes so I went to buy another pair last week. I had to special order them since the store no longer keeps a large inventory. They had been on my mind a lot recently and I am certain that was a God nudge. I can't wait to see photos of the baby quails when they hatch.

  7. Annabel I love seeing your coathangers, they are beautiful and will be lovely to hang clothes on.
    We had an HRV installed in our home this week which I am so happy about. Our city has a high water table and in the winter condensation becomes a major issue. What the HRV does is to take the warm air from your ceiling and circulate it down into your home through vents. It can eliminate not just the condensation but any food smells as well. In the summer it will draw in cool air to cool the house. So for the first time we have no crying windows and don't have to use a dehumidifier. The house remains between 16-18 degrees without any heating on. It is wonderful. It only costs $1 a week to run and last night we never turned the heat pump on until after 11pm. The bonus is saving on running costs of heating and you are heating a warm, drier environment. They are not cheap to install but eliminate the source of mildew and mould so you have a much healthier home to live in. We had a cold,frosty night last night and absolutely dry windows this morning. I am so delighted.
    This is part of my long term plan of improving our living environment. We can't do anything else now until our earthquake repairs are underway. This however, leaves us in a good place meanwhile.
    DP and I saved some money during the week by cleaning our own venetian blinds. We purchased a bottle of Diggers wax and grease degreaser for $12.50 and they came up beautifully. We did need to buy more fittings but these came to $20. So for around $32.50 all4 blinds will be cleaned. To have them commercially cleaned is about $180 per blind, so big savings there.
    We are off to get a good drill set for my partner today so we no longer have to keep borrowing his brothers and he can use it at any time. His brother is fine with him borrowing his but it is another important feature to more self-reliance.
    Have a wonderful weekend everyone.


  8. Hi Annabelle and Blue Birds. Sorry I haven't contributed lately. It has been non-stop around here and I'm ready for a break. Annabelle, I so agree with you as far as readiness and security (that is one sturdy looking fence). I lie awake at night wondering if I've missed something or if there is an area of prepping that needs more attention. Seems every time I check a completed task off my list there is another to add. We are caught up with dental work and doctor visits for now. This week we put our pickup in the shop to get it in better shape. It's an older truck but doesn't have that many miles and we refuse to pay the exorbitant prices they are asking now for new trucks. We invested in a Berkey water filter and I'm ordering new clothes line cording and some slaked lime (to preserve eggs for when our chickens slow down with laying). I have been lucky to find some good sales on Christmas gifts so that has freed up some time I would normally spend on handmade items, to say nothing of saving quite a bit of money. Win win. I'm gleaning all that I can from our gardens and canning and dehydrating. I cleaned out a bookshelf to store more jars and made a pretty curtain to hide it all! That sums up the week's accomplishments. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

  9. I learn so much from all you ladies. Here in TN USA I seem to be surrounded by people who have no interest to prepare. So as little as I have done I'm way ahead of those around me. I feel like that too is a position of danger if something terrible happens and as the world knows it is far too likely. We can take nothing for granted any longer.
    You have some nice trees a little way back from your beautiful fence. Have you considered putting game cameras on them for further protection? Maybe one or two that can notify you of intruders.
    I wonder if we will ever feel safe again. Or if we never were and just didn't realize it. I'm elderly now but I try to do as much as I can every day.

  10. Hi Annabelle, I think it's a wonderful time for you to put out the reminder on your preparedness program. With things the state that they are in currently it is definitely to get moving! Your celery looks so lush and healthy! What a treat to have it all dehydrated ready for winter soups and stews. With rising prices in the supermarkets it's so great to be able to produce all of this yourself. I'm laughing at seeing people pay $8 for lettuce knowing that we still have some growing in the garden, and plenty of spinach too! Crazy times!
    Thanks for sharing as always! I hope the coming week stays drama free (it's amazing how often we seem to be saying that lately!). We're expecting more freezing conditions here in the ACT, so will do our best to rug and stay warm!
    Take care,

  11. What lovely coat hangers! I think I will copy the stitch as I usually use the shell stitch which leaves gaps. Our home is blooming with lilies and we continue to harvest more strawberries. I had minor surgery this week, and yet was still able to catch up on sewing and ironing. I ran to the market to pick up some ingredients for easy meals for the girls to make. Sadly, the store shelves were totally empty of fresh chicken, beef and pork! Yes, empty! One shopper declared she was leaving because of the lack. It was so shocking. There was still hams, lunch meat, hot dogs and frozen meat in other parts of the store. God is good. So thankful to have meat in the home freezer, and chickens laying eggs in the backyard!
    God bless you all,

    1. Dear Lesley, Thank you! I tried another stitch but the padding showed through... so this is just single crochet. For someone who had surgery you did very well! I hope you are healing very well too.
      The shopper who was leaving because of the lack.... well I think we need to see what IS there and make the most of that. Those that cant adapt are going to be in trouble. The Lillies and strawberries sound beautiful! So are chickens in the yard and meat in the freezer! Have a lovely weekend Leslie, love Annabelxxx

  12. Hello - just love reading your blog. Thank you. Also wondering what the benefit of quails are -- being so small?

    1. Thanks so much! In part I want to get good at using the incubator and successfully raising chicks so I put word out for fertile eggs and I included Quail in my list and that is what I got. BUT...as more people figure they need to become much more self sufficient more will look to poultry. Many people just dont have the room for hens... and many councils have restrictions etc. For these people Quail are a really good option. You still get eggs and for those that want to you also get meat. From this I see a demand for all poultry going up and especially for smaller birds. That is my thinking. For me I will have one more option as I can trade with the birds or eggs. I have four hatched now and they are so beautiful! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. That makes sense! Thank you! I have my name on a list for quail eggs- you got me hooked! :)

  13. Saturday night late my daughter in law texted to say she'd just been given 10 cases of black beans (cooked, salvage from a diesel truck that broke down) and she brought us two cases. I had just done an inventory last week and knew that I was getting low on canned beans which are convenient to have on hand for quick meals. I was so pleased to accept them.
    I made bread, bagels and used up bananas in making muffins. I am slowly developing my plan for having a garden without gardening equipment. I am pushing to purchase chickens, but need to have the basics first before I jump in feet first thinking I start with chickens.
    I'm trying to stay out of the grocery and to work with my budget not with fear. I know that my pantry and freezer are bonuses, but I'm continuing to brush up on my most economical recipes and using those more often and rely on expensive ingredients less and less. I want to remember how I made do when we had less money to manage upon because frankly I think that's as important as learning to think creatively when there are outages. And I am trying to be gracious in accepting all offers of plants, produce, goods when they are offered.
    Can't wait to hear how the quail do in hatching! I was listening to a quail this morning calling in the fields near the house.

    1. Dear Terri,
      Two cases of beans is a huge addition to your pantry! Just wow! We have a kind of joke here about things coming off "the back of a truck" but in this case your beans really did!
      It would be just wonderful if you could get chickens! I agree with you... making do, making things stretch, being inventive, using substitutions... these are all as important (if not more) than having a good pantry. Also portion sizes. I am trying to work on all of these.
      I have a Quail report coming up! With love, Annabel.xxx

  14. Hello Annabel and fellow bluebirds....
    I don't talk too much about what I do to be prepared, and I think that might be good protection against intruders during hard times. During WW2, there was a saying, "Loose lips sink ships." I would share with friends needing help.

    You can eat quail and quail eggs, although I can't see Annabel eating any of her pets, LOL. Quail are great entertainment, though. The family stays together until the babies are grown and they are adorable walking in a line, like ducklings, only cuter. We had several wild quail nests at our previous home and loved watching them. I live in town now, but there is at least one family in the area because I've seen them.

    1. Dear Maxine, I think you are wise. I am sunk because I have tried to encourage people to prepare for so many years now. But we need to be guarded and cautious for sure especially moving forward.
      Yes Quail are high producers like Rabbits in a way. Except you also get eggs!
      I would have loved to see wild quail nests! How beautiful! Sorry for my slow reply this week, the week has been so busy! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. Dear Annabel,
    I was so happy to read that it was a good week with drama. Waiting for the quail eggs to hatch would be exciting to me. The hangers are beautiful. Coincidentally I made the peanut butter cookies this week also. We continue with our preparation s. We took advantage of ordering our propane while there was an early sale going on and locked onto the lower price. If the price goes up it won't effect us but if it goes down from the price we paid we will get the lower price. We also took advantage of the summer sale on pellets for the pellet stove. We are now set with fuel for the winter. I thinned out lettuce, beets, chard and kale and used the thinning for micro greens in salads. Made meals for the freezer for us and made meals for a friend who has an I'll family member that she's caring for. Swapped a fruit cobbler for lettuce and radishes.
    Made a recipe for homemade rice a Roni. Used saved boned and made more bone broth. I now have 14 quarts in the freezer. In the evenings I continue to embroider pillowcases for the gift closet.

    1. Dear Cookie, I am sorry for such a slow reply. I have a lot to report on the Quail. It has been so much fun and so fascinating!
      I am so glad you got your propane. You are well ahead for winter, that is excellent.
      Your garden is sounding really productive. I love rice a roni type sides. Yum. All that bone broth is so good to have! The pillowcases sound just beautiful. what nice gifts they will be. A very good week! With love Annabelxxx

  16. Hi Annabel

    What a statement piece that fence is, I just love it.

    A fire is rare in our parts of QLD but let me tell you we needed one last weekend with temperatures at minus 6 up in the hills and we were minus 1....it was so cold that none of us could get out of bed on Saturday morning. The frost in some of the photos I have seen was like a blanket of snow. Temps like this are rare and I think they said it was 2018 the last cold snap. It is slowly rising again and I think we will be back into double digits by the beginning of the weekend.

    We are still suffering with food shortages and possibly like everywhere else veggies are pretty far an few between in the supermarkets.

    Like you we have items for when the power goes out. We have chargers that we can charge phones with, torches and candles, can openers, batteries, some cash (people forget no power no ATM or eftpos). Power here often goes off and at best it is only out for 3 hours but often can be 5 or 6 hours due to crews having to travel from town. We do happen to have a gas cook top so as DD12 says "she will never starve" as we can still cook a meal

    Hope everything went well with the "hatching" look forward to reading an update on this.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, I am sorry with my late reply. Thanks so much re the fence!
      Minus 6 is really cold! Minus 1 is cold enough! You are really well organised for outages. We have the same thing... if power is out the crews can have. fair bit of travel time just getting out here. A gas cook top is great. I think if we can still cook and boil the kettle it is fantastic and like is much better.
      I have lots to report on the Quail! Its been a big week and so busy! With love Annabel.xxx

  17. I'm feeling the need to do so much more than I've done.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts