Feather your Nest Friday, 1st July, 2022.

Welcome to July!  It has been a good and busy week.  I like having plenty to report!   This week I went into town so I picked two bunches of celery to take to the swap tables.  

Since setting up my container garden I can pick celery every day and not run out.   In return I came home with seedlings!!   All of these were in one tray.

As I had a new container to fill up I used that first then filled in some gaps in other areas.   So happy with my trade!

While I was in town I went to the op shop (thrift store.)   I found a size 4 little rain jacket with fleecy lining.  It needed a good clean up but it came up as new.  ($2.)  Into my Grandkids stash I keep in my special set of drawers.

I also found a pure wool blanket for $4.  As usual I found this in the "pet bedding" section.  I have it in my homemade wool wash soaking.   I am planning a blog post just on wool blankets... this is coming up.  I also found brand new, in the packet, 1000 thread count sheets!  ($10) 

The stores were ok... the prices of vegetables are very high.  A lettuce is $9.   Cucumbers were $22 a kilo...  $11 ish a pound.  Broccoli is a crazy price.  There are no eggs at all.   Friends across Australia are telling me the same.

If you can possibly keep chooks do.  They are food security and an easy way to keep up protein.  Eggs make so many meals... chickens provide fertiliser for your garden and you can largely feed them household scraps and garden greens.  I worked out beyond that I feed about 1/2 cup of grain per bird per day.   And I keep a ridiculous number of chooks but I am wanting to provide this security to four families... Mum, our own household and both my daughters households (all my Grandchildren.)    But really you can have three or four chickens and do very well.   When you have excess eggs you have a very good gift of help for someone else or an item to trade.  Important.

I got all the succulents from Adelaide planted into my garden.
I potted up all of the little Pencil Pines. 

I have two trays like this and then two trays of Spider Plants.

The mirrors that I brought back from Adelaide (that had been used in Lucy's wedding) are now in the green house and also behind several big planters.

They really do work to add light into the greenhouse . 



So pleased with all my potting up I said to Andy that now I will be a proper person with a proper greenhouse.  He thought that was really funny but you know what I mean! 

This week our biggest fruit trees have been pruned so that we will be able to cover them with nets again in summer.  I am so pleased as this work meant we got great harvests last summer!

This is one of the Pear trees.  It looks so bare now but between the two trees I had a whole wheelbarrow full of pears! 

The lambs are both doing really well.   They have the orchard yard to run around during the day and Andy made them a fox proof house for night time.   We had this old water tank with a doorway cut in it which is a good and dry house.   To make it fox proof Andy made me a door. 

This is so good!  Now I am set with babies that cannot be left out at night.   Very small lambs come inside by the fire until they are strong.   But once they are healthy and feeding well this is the next step.

I tested out my Dad's old bread maker and it works.  I have pizzas planned.  I can think of many good things to make with this.  Also good as a back up because if bread was not on the shelves then I would make bread for the Grandkids. 

I didn't get a big cook up done this week but I have some baking planned for the weekend. 

How did you get ahead and add to your pantry or garden this week?  How are you preparing for the season ahead?

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel, we had a productive week. We purchased a large freezer last Saturday and I now have plenty more room and feel more organised now. Our garden is producing lots of greens now. We eat what we pick from the garden for our veggies. Also we are preparing our beds for summer planting, however that won’t be for a few weeks yet. Pears have been fairly cheap here so I’ve been dehydrating them for snacks. It’s been raining here quite heavenly today and we are expecting quite a bit more according to the forecast. That often means we get sea weed washing up on the beach, so we will drive down after the week end and collect some for the garden. We decided and transplanted the comfrey so I can make comfrey salve when the leaves come back closer to spring. I’m interested in learning more about the medicinal uses of some of the herbs I grow. I usually do some stitching each evening and I’m using up my wool scraps to make a rug. I crochet whilst I watch the news each night. I plan to reorganise my little sewing room tomorrow and do some baking for the week ahead and also for the freezer. Thank you for todays post. I look forward to reading each week what you’ve been up to.
    Blessings Gail.

    1. Dear Gail, It is fantastic about the freezer! You will have fun getting this stocked up! Dried pear is beautiful. My favourite dried fruit.
      Seaweed is fantastic fertiliser/mulch. So full of minerals. When I go to the beach I get shell grit for the chickens which they love.
      I am a big fan of Comfrey and hoping mine takes off. You can make a good fertiliser from that too, like a Comfrey tea.
      I love my evenings working on my crochet...working on using up left overs here too! Have a great new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. What a magnificent idea for the rain water tank, truly genius.

    1. Thank you! This tank leaked and we had to replace it but we kept it for a little shed! Now it is so handy! xxx

  3. Your lambs are just adorable. This week I made blueberry and strawberry jam and also dehydrated strawberries. I am dehydrating 6 lbs of potatoes right now. Continued to take care of the chickens and garden. We are starting to get some squash and tomatoes.

    1. Dear MamaHen, The berries sound just beautiful and giving you many things to make! Having potatoes dehydrated will be so handy. It is so good you have more produce to come in yet! Have a good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. hello Annabel, here in Regional SA we are fortunate as our Foodland does so well to stock most things. We had plenty of eggs for sale and prices hadn't been put up either. We have five chooks which give us 4 eggs at the moment. Someone gave my Husband some lemons, and as we had surplus eggs he made lemon butter! I have recently put in a dwarf Nectarine and a Mandarin tree. Last year our self sown Peach produce abunadantly, so I made more than dozen bottles of jam, also stewed fruit and dehydrated a large amount as well. We are buying two more above ground planters as we want to grow as much as we can. My Snow Peas have just poked through the soil so that's exciting. I shove seeds in every spot I can find. A friend gave me Brocili seedlings and Brussel sprouts. This is perfect timing as all my Brocoli has been picked.

    1. Dear Robyne,
      Foodland is fantastic. I have found them the best stocked also. It is so good having chickens and lemon butter is just beautiful. I love that your self sown peach has produced so much! I am getting on so much better with planters and raised beds... and I love that you are filling everything you can find! Me too! I look at everything as potential fertiliser of compost too. All your preserves sound so good. Week by week all this adds up so much! Have a good new week! Love Annabel.xxx

  5. Sounds like a pleasant week. My goodness, I have never seen a shelf that bare any where at a store near me here in middle US. I am sure thankful for that. Glad you have found that the bread maker works. Those babies are sure cute!

    1. Dear Cheryl, I have seen so many empty shelves but never no eggs. Fresh produce is pretty bare. But I am glad of what I can get! Yes the bread maker is going to be so handy! Even gluten free dough rises perfectly! Have a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Everything looks beautiful. The person that swapped for your celery got a real treat. It is beautiful. Celery is so good in so many dishes. Your lambs look secure. I love to have baby animals around. At the moment we have 5 adorable little kittens. Also, I wanted to ask you about the playhouse you were making for your grandchildren. You mentioned quite awhile back that you were remaking a huge wooden packing box over for them. Did you finish that project? I may have missed the post.
    This week I'm canning cucumbers and tomatoes. Also, I've dried some dill and mint, and made mint sugar for tea.
    We have my birthday and Independence Day to celebrate this weekend and Monday. So, I'll be baking a bit today. Also, I'm setting up another family with homeschooling and working on a schedule for the materials I ordered for them.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful life. I'm steady Bluebirding here adding the practical and the pretty.

    1. Dear Ginger, The celery was about as fresh as it could get! Yes I did finish that play house a while back. You can see some photos here:
      https://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com/2020/05/feather-your-nest-friday-29th-may-2020.html I got two more big boxes since then, one I turned into a raised garden bed and the other into a goat house. They were very handy.
      You got a lot done. Oh and Happy Birthday and Happy Fourth of July!
      Well done on helping the family with homeschooling that would be a huge help. I hope you have had a wonderful Birthday! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,

    Those lambs are so pretty, like toys! I could hug them all day long....I really like the greenhouse - what a difference a clever idea makes! Your week was great and you achieved a lot, as usual.
    My week was a bit slower. After my mini staycation I went back to work, from 8 to 17, I watered the plants every evening and I have to say, my container garden is by far better looking and I harvest from it more than my actual garden.
    Maybe I feel a bit burnout, maybe it is the very high heat wave 38 Celsius-100.4 Fahrenheit, maybe is the news and the war, or the enormous prices that keep rising everyday - but I consciously let it a bit slow. At sunsets I was knitting in the garden, under the orchard shadow and listen to audiobooks, play with my dogs and cats, talk with and enjoy my little family and flowers. An easy pace of life.
    The good news is I am a step closer to my chicken flock, Fingers crossed.
    With love, Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura,
      I am finding the same... and its surprising but here also the container garden is better than the in ground garden. I would never have believed it!
      Laura it is a stressful time, you had a loss, travel and a lot of things. So I think it is natural you might feel a bit flat. Hot weather is wearing too. I think look after yourself and it is ok to go slower. I am so excited about your chickens! You are going to just love them. They will be a huge asset to your family! Have a good week. With love, Annabel.xxx

  8. The little lamb house is great for your little Barney Rubble. :) We had a great week with many, many great deals on food. We were able to buy a lot of meat for really low prices. One pounds pkgs of bacon for 2.50, rolls of sausage for 1.99, baby back ribs for 1.99 a pound and turkey breasts for 1.29 a pound. I am glad to have the turkey put away for the holidays to come.

    One great thing that happened here in the USA is that the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had been given power by our president that they were not allowed to have by law. This essentially means that the Green New Deal is dead. I am sure you know how huge this is for America!

    1. My In Laws are farmers and this Green New Deal is killing them. It is huge. They have stopped them from from growing any food for their cattle.

    2. Dear Lana, I am very happy hearing you got great deals! That is the time to strike!
      I did not know this development. That is fantastic. Anon commented also ... I knew something about it and this same/similar idea is around the world. In Holland the farmers are having massive protests as they have basically been told to stop farming. People say but where do they think food will come from? Well how do you reduce a population? I am seeing you have had a few victories worth celebrating! We are farmers, my family are farmers. I say always support the farmers and grow all you can too. Interesting times we are in! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Hi Annabel,
    I think it's lovely that you tied the celery stalks with ribbon like a gift.The rain jacket is so cute and what other great things you found at the thrift store. Plenty of eggs at our store, but some produce is in short supply or not there.
    The lambs are adorable. i would want to spend all day with them and not get anything else done. Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura,
      I think it is nice to present things a bit nicely so I try to do that. The lambs are lovely to watch out my window as they bounce around and play games. They run around and around the little paddock. So they must be doing well as they have a lot of energy! Have a great week! Love Annabel.xxx

  10. Annabel,
    I love your lambs they are just so cute. Your celery is amazing! My celery grows, but is never very stellar I get enough to add to a few dishes and that's about it.
    I have picked a few berries and harvested the garlic. It's curing now. There is some that is too small so I'm going to leave it until I till that spot in about a week.
    We got a few more empty containers we can use for rain tanks if needed and the metal cages on them we will use for more firewood.
    We got a wood chair on the roadside. I love chairs for some reason.
    And it must be the week for sheets! I was sent a set to review along with another air fryer.
    I agree on having chickens, even if someone can only have a few. In hard times even just a few eggs can make a big difference. And it is wonderful to also share and trade.
    Soon I hope to have some good garden photos to show you we could use a nice rain. Not a flooding one haha. It went from flooded to extremely dry.
    To get ready for the next season which is Fall for us I make sure I have plenty of baking ingredients on hand because I bake more and we like more roasts and soups so I make sure the pantry has plenty of those ingredients too. I like to give all of the blankets and pillows that we use in the colder months a good freshening and I start bringing out the hot drinks . Its the simple comforts I love best after the hot and heavy work of Summer.

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I think blood and bone is the secret to the celery. I planted it with a cup of blood and bone per plant.
      Oh my goodness what great free items you got! Your reviews are really paying off big time!
      I think eggs coming in does make a lot of difference. It gives a lot of options.
      I look forward to seeing the progress in the garden! Summer is hard work but it is worth it! Have a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. I love the little raincoat you found at the op shop. Op shopping is one of my favourite things to do. I usually get my best buys when I am not after anything specific. Just being open to looking in them pays big dividends.
    After two and a half years of being able to avoid it covid arrived in our home. I would have most likely picked it up through work. Fortunately it has not been to terrible. Mostly head cold, coughing and sneezing. My partner has had much the same symptoms. We have been fortunate to escape the awful sore throat many have had. I lost my ability to taste and smell but it is starting to come back. My seven days isolation ends today but I will be staying tucked up warm at home. My main task now is to try and start eating more and rebuild my energy levels. I was hoping to go back to work on Monday but it may be Wednesday at this stage. I will see how I get on over the next day. I am extremely thankful for the vaccinations as my partner and I are both in the higher risk category and I have no doubt the vaccinations have made a huge difference to us.
    With being unwell and not going to work I have saved about $50 in petrol. I am going to send this to our power bill as of course we have had the heat pump on more than usual and this should cover it.
    The other thing I am thankful for is having a good pantry supply. We have had plenty to keep us going and not had to stress about not having enough to get by on.
    Have a great week everyone.


    1. Dear Mandy, I love op shopping! The things I have found! Something for everyone!
      I am sorry you both have been sick. I think it is inevitable we all get this. Im glad it wasnt too bad though. I had a sore throat all week and felt under the weather and did a covid test but no. This is the time our weeks of building up ready meals etc is such a help. I hope you both feel fully recovered soon but let yourself rest as you need to as I think it is easy to get really knocked out. With much love, Annabel.xxx

  12. Our neighbors giant Eucalyptus fell the other night and came crashing down into our yard. They are fixing our livestock fence and giving us the wood. The tree trimmers cut into pieces to fit inside our wood burning stove. We will end up with 2 cords of good Red Eucalyptus. We have a side of beef coming at the end of the month. We just have to pay for butchering fees. Thanks to our SIL. Food prices just keep increasing. Not many sales right now. Wood prices have come down about 30% so we are buying some for future use. Your Celery is beautiful. My Cilantro is bolting. Jalapeño are looking good. $1.00 a piece in the store. I have 4 Easter Egger Hens I bought as chicks. I bought lay mash and chick starter for 3 months. I am buying Dog and Cat food too. I expect it will be harder to get after summer. The lambs are just precious.

    1. Dear Anon, Well if a tree had to smash your fence at leat it was a very good tree for firewood! We consider red gum about the best firewood. We have Red and Blue Gums here mainly. All that wood stacked will be wonderful. So will that side of beef! It is good to be ahead with the animal feed. A good idea for sure, we have been building up our supply too. Have a good week! Love Annabel.xxx

  13. Hi Annabel ,,your lambs are so gorgeous lol,,we have had a ton of lemons this year,i have frozen some made a lemon slice even used some to clean the stainless sink,,i have lots o as lettuce too growing in pots i just go out pick what i need,we just keep planting

    1. Dear Melissa, I love lemon slice. Also lemon as a cleaner is beautiful. Last year when I had heaps of lemons I juiced and froze a lot. This all came in really handy as I went though a time without any lemons at all. I run what is left of a lemon through the dish washer cycle then the dishwasher comes so clean and smells good.
      The lettuce sounds great, picking as you need is the way to go. I am continually planting more too! Have a good week! Love Annabel.xxx

  14. Annabel you did really well on that lovely rain jacket for $2 and the new sheets for $10 and getting a nice wool blanket too for such small prices :) . The rainwater tank pen for the lambs is a fantastic idea to keep them safe from the foxes and warm in the cold weather too. So many lovely plants you have planted and some great trades as well and the greenhouse mirrors a wonderful idea for more light.

    We are not seeing a shortage of eggs here in inland Qld, lettuce are $6.50 ea and cucumbers are simply out of stock apart from Lebanese ones at $1.28 ea. What we are seeing out of stock of was the cheaper tinned fruits for a period of 6 months that have just come back in stock, noticed some stores were sort of rationing the chicken marylands when they were on sale and the prices of chicken in general has gone up hugely with the Steggles family roast chickens now $7 kg. Frozen veg seems to be hit and miss along with frozen chips as well. Each week something else we want vanishes for a few weeks or months and then comes back again so it is good to have a bit of a stockpile to get you through those times. I am noticing that half price sales on grocery items are getting further apart or now reverting to 30 - 40% off sales instead.

    In the kitchen -
    - Baked 2 loaves of wholemeal white combo bread in the bread making machine saving us $6.98 on buying them locally.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Purchases -
    - Our front washing machine finally gave up the ghost after 12 years of good use so we went and bought another larger 9kg one and I managed to knock down the price by $49 as it was floor stock. Interesting to note here was half of the usual washing machine brands they stock were out of stock and they couldn't get in because of the computer chip shortages making it hard for the washing machine manufacturers to even make them.
    - We saved $24 by buying RACQ e-gift cards for buying off peak e-saver movie tickets and a small drink and popcorn e-gift cards for the two of us to see Top Gun Maverick which was a great movie.
    - Saved $10.25 by buying half price magnesium tablets for DH at Woolworths.
    - Used WW boosts and promos to earn $20 off our next shop with rewards $.
    - From IGA bought 4 x 3 family packs of chicken marylands on sale for $3.50 kg and 3 x 2pk of cheese and bacon long rolls on markdowns saving $15.25 on usual prices.
    - At Noni B purchased 2 x new Melton jackets one in black and 1 in pink, 1 x long tailored quilted wind proof jacket and a pointelle jumper on sale for $50 for all of them :). This was a huge saving of $569.96 on usual prices. I now have more jackets that will match in with the skirts I own for winter wear.
    - We purchased WW tinned pears on sale reduced from $2 per tin to $1.40 per tin, 2 x Palmers coconut moisturiser on sale reduced from $10.49 to $6 ea and a 2lt chocolate milk reduced from $2.85 to $2.19 & used our 5% off e-gift card saving $31.53 on usual prices. With the discounts we got from topping up 6 months worth of tinned pears we used it fairly much made my moisturiser free along with the two Worcestershire sauce we purchased as well.

    Finances -
    - Banked a substantial amount of money into our 3 month emergency fund after finding I was under budget in a few other budget categories.
    - Paid an extra couple of part payments off our mortgage.

    In the home -
    - Bought a new shower rose and installed it ourselves saving $80 over calling a plumber in to do it for us. I have a house maintenance fund I put into each week so the washing machine and shower rose costs came from that account.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :) .


    1. Dear Lorna, Thanks for reporting about shortages and prices in your area. I have been expecting prices to flow on to frozen veggies. I am watching that. I stocked up a heap thinking this might happen. With all the floods Australia has been hit by I think we are in for a lot more fruit and veg issues.
      You just pushed me on to act in regard to washing machines. My washing machine is quite small but I love it. It is also getting old. I thought maybe I should buy a new one to have on hand. As I know the chip shortage isn't getting better I will put looking for a washing machine on my goals for next week. I would hate to end up without one!
      Everyone says that movie is fantastic! A bit of enjoyable entertainment!
      You had amazing savings on the winter jackets! Being ahead with the emergency funds and mortgage is fantastic especially as interest rates are rising. It is also brilliant you have a house maintenance fund. There is always something that needs upkeep, repairs, replacement and they are good to keep on top of. An excellent week! I hope this one is going well! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Annabel most welcome and a wise move too to stock up on frozen veg too as I think the increased costs will flow onto frozen veg too :) .

      I hadn't even thought of washing machines having computer chips in them to be honest but it was an eye opener to see so many empty spaces in the washing machine display area and the one I wanted was the only one they had with no schedule of when the next supply of them would reach the store.

      Think it would be wise to buy a backup one in case your other one goes and we did pay $900 for our Fisher and Paykel 9kg front loader but worth it for the extra size capabilities. Some shops I noticed had the same one for $1159 which was a shock to the system so we did well on the price.

      So very strange on getting the lined Melton jackets and the quilted water resistant jacket and jumper is I was looking at them thinking how nice quality they were but umming and ahhing about the price and the shop assistant said you can have everything on the $30 racks at 4 for $50 so I took advantage of them and purchased them :) .

      Have a great week :).


  15. My son and his family are growing a small garden. I received 5 good sized cucumbers from them last week and immediately made all but 1 into refrigerator pickles. We'll really enjoy those and they will keep well. John polished off half a jar at supper one night.
    I took advantage of sales to pick up a few items at the grocery. Eggs were up but plentiful. Produce is up too but not scarce nor high as it is there. With a holiday weekend here steaks were on sale but looking over meat counter, I found three steaks marked down to even less per pound than the sale. I was thrilled to take advantage of a mark down and snapped up all three. A steak of this sort will serve the two of us quite enough meat and really I could stretch it to serve three if I wanted.
    I made bread.
    I've been especially careful to use up all the dibs and dabs of things and am not wasting a bit of food.
    I have tomatoes! Not ripe yet but the plants finally started producing. I also have a sweet potato vine growing, and lots of mint, plenty of basil coming up and the oregano is coming back rather nicely.
    A two-year-old hydrangea has its first buds coming in. I rooted this by layering a stem in the ground. I plan to layer propagate a couple more this year.
    I went to a website for a subscription clothing service I'd joined a year or so ago and had put on hold. Did I buy new pieces? No. I looked at suggestions of how to wear the pieces I'd already purchased and came up with six or seven new to me outfits to put together using what I already have. Suddenly my summer closet didn't seem half so bare as it had before.

    I recovered an ottoman with fabric I'd bought on sale.

    1. Dear Terri,
      Refrigerator pickles are fantastic and delicious! Also it is great your son and family are growing a garden. Your own garden is sounding beautiful and so exciting tomatoes are on their way!
      I love Hydrangeas. Mine was cut back at the end of summer and is shooting again right now.
      What a great idea on the website to find new ways to wear what you have! Also good fun! I love that! I hope your week is going well! Love Annabel.xxx


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