Feather your Nest Friday, 24th February, 2023.

We had a couple of really hot days this week and we are waiting on a cool change right now.  I cannot really complain as it has all been under 40 degrees and it is perfectly normal to be well into the 40s this time of year.  I have worked through all the watering and animal jobs in short bursts and stayed in the cool as much as possible.    We might even get some rain with the cool change which would be wonderful! 

We have to work with the season and weather we have.   Less outdoor work means some more sewing and also painting.   I set a goal to sew two kitchen towels per day from my recycled linens.   In the evenings I worked on the edges.   Because of the fabric being sheets any imperfect ones became new kitchen towels for my own kitchen and the perfect ones got the crochet finish. 

Some pillowcases might be next when I get sick of kitchen towels and have enough in my present cupboard. 

I also started on some hand towels and face washers.

I keep an eye on Buy, Swap and Sell and saw six dining room chairs for $160 (for all) and they were located really close by!   This was the photo in the ad....

Pale blue VELVET!  They are beautifully carved.... which doesn't stand out in the photo because dark colours recede... which is why I am waiting them so the details stand out.  I am up to number 3, it is a long process but I have them inside and am painting in air conditioned comfort.   I have not had a set of matching dining room chairs so I am very excited. 

This week some of the apples and pears were ready to pick!  We went in under the nets to inspect properly.  One lot of pears fall off in your hand so are ready.     Some apples are ready but most still have a way to go.   They are a good size too!    Thank goodness they are at different stages as this helps spread out the harvest. 

The whole tree is heavy and drooping down with the weight of hundreds and hundreds of pears.   We picked two huge baskets full but really made no dent.   It has a very slow running hose underneath and as soon as this change comes in we will be picking the rest.

The apple tree is the same...  there are hundreds but most are still several weeks from ready.   Just some on the sunny side and outside of the tree were ripe so we picked those.

I saved a tin in my Christmas cupboard to fill it with homemade biscuits (cookies) come December.  All year I watch for containers for baking and hamper style gifts.  

It was my brothers birthday and Chloe rose to the challenge and made him a deer themed cake.  I show the Tuesday girls all Chloe's cake and homeschooling ideas etc.   I have to show you this one..

The little cakes were Gluten Free for Mum and me.  The main cake was chocolate.

My big cook up was a pot of spaghetti meat sauce.   A really large zucchini was grated and added,  also a heap of cherry tomatoes from the garden.   This cooked down into a delicious sauce.  

More zucchini was shredded and became two large cakes.  These were sliced and frozen.  I also froze a bag of shredded zucchini. 

I was asked for photos of Scout.   Late afternoons we spend about an hour playing with the dogs,  throwing Scout's frisbee etc.  We cannot be one minute late because she waits next to the door with her frisbee in her mouth or next to her on the mat.   Waiting, waiting....

In the mornings Andy checks the solar pump.  It is Scout's job to go with him on that drive.   Zackie gets to go on other drives and Scout flat refuses to go in the car at all! 

I added a spaghetti meat sauce to the freezer for an emergency meal.

That was my week.   I have a million things I want to say and can't find the words.  But this came to me "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of Blessing."  (Galatians 6:9)   Don't get discouraged.  Hang in there.  Small things add up to great things.   Small things do make a big difference.   Mother Teresa said "If you want to change the world go home and love your family."   It is true. xxx


  1. Dear Annabel,
    What a lovely productive week you've had. The pear harvest is fantastic. Your towels are beautiful. I was wondering do you double the fabric or are they just one layer? Chloe makes such beautiful cakes.
    It has been a crazy week weather wise here. Yesterday it was 72F and the day before we had snow. Today the temp has dropped 30 degrees and it's cold and windy again.

    We are in the midst of washing all the walls, crown molding and baseboards. When it's done the house looks like it's been freshly painted. In the kitchen I made gluten free "no roll" crackers, carrot top soup for lunch one day and 2 quarts went into the freezer, 4 dozen brownies were baked and added to the freezer as well. I made a roast in the airfryer and we had it for dinner one night and the rest got sliced up for other meals and frozen. I made tortillas. Food prices here also continue to rise and even in stores that have previously been well-stocked there are bare shelves. I have been working on card embellishments that look like quilt blocks using my scrap cardstock to create them. So far I've made 35. They will be adhered to blank cardstock and go into the gift closet. At night I've been embroidering tea towels that will also go into the gift closet. I turned reward points into gift cards and restocked pantry items using the cards so everything was free. Wishing all the Bluebirds a healthy and safe week ahead. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Thank you! Yes the tea towels are double soft cotton. Sometimes I use one layer of a pretty cotton and another of a thick cotton waffle fabric. Depends on what I have and what matches. I like them to be good and absorbent. Our rain and cool change came and its fantastic!
      Freshly washed baseboards and paint work is beautiful. It is like freshly washed windows. Thanks for reporting on the grocery store. I love the sound of quilts on cards! I know they will be beautiful!
      It was great you could do some restocking and you are adding to your gift closet! You had a very good and busy week! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Thank you so much for the photo of Scout! What a face at the door ;). Chloe makes unbelievably lovely designs on cakes, what talent and patience. Have a good week and thank you for your posts. Hilogene in Az

    1. Thank you Hilogene. Chloe's cakes keep getting better and better! Have a good new week! xxx

  3. Don't be discouraged. I needed that. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for reminding us of summer! Here in the US we're having a horrible sick season. My family is rarely ill and we went from tummy bug, to cold, to now what feels like the flu. You are giving me hope of spring and summer to come. Keep sharing 💛

    1. Dear Jesse, I think frequent weather changes make it harder to stay well. I hope your family are all feeling heaps better.xxx

  5. Dear Annabel,
    Those chairs are gorgeous. What a wonderful find. Your pictures are truly beautiful on your posts.
    You had a busy week. The dish towels and washclothes are so pretty. What a blessing of so much fruit. Your speghetti sauce looks delicious. Adding zucchini is a wonderful and nutritious idea.
    We have been making a lot of soups lately. I have never been a soup fan, but this year homemade hot soup sounds wonderful to me. I, also, made a hamburger soup that was quite good. It passed our grandson's eating test, even with carrots, sweet potatoes, lots of herbs and potatoes in it.
    I have been on a determined path to use up what is in our refrigerator freezers and refrigerators. I want to do some reconfiguring of what goes where. Today, I have some spinach and cheeses to use up, so I will be making a spinach lasagna.
    We just came through a blizzard. It was our first blizzard warning in decades. We had 15 inches of snow, 40 mph winds and -20 degree F. temperatures. The school systems went virtual, so the kids were home on laptops while the teachers were on their laptops teaching. The students are provided laptops.
    I feel it necessary to sit down this weekend and write out a detailed food plan for what is coming. I have been working on notebooks of recipes for items we store regularly. Ten years ago I did a plan of every item needed and how much of that item for thirty meals. I calculated what was needed for a year and we made sure we had that. Our dietary needs have changed so it is time to figure out a new plan.
    I hope and pray for a wonderful and safe weekend for all of our Bluebird sisters.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I feel exactly as you do about needing to sit down and write a plan. Yet I havent done it yet and am having trouble concentrating. I will try and work on it this week.
      Spinach lasagne sounds wonderful! I have some spinach to use also!
      Thank you so much re my photos. They serve me as a kind of diary of what I did in a week. I would truly forget if not for notes and photos, sometimes a week is a long time!
      Soup season is just upon us. I love soups and roast a lot of veggies first then make the soup. I have apples and pumpkins to use so I will begin! With much love Annabel.xxx

  6. Those chairs are just beautiful! Yes, this world is hardly recognizable anymore but we will continue to trust in God and do what needs to be done every day.

    1. Thanks so much Lana! Yes work and pray that is what I am doing.xxx

  7. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Oh, those chairs are so pretty! What a great find. So much beautiful fruit and cooking, too. The crochet edging on your towels and washers is lovely.

    It has been the weirdest weather week, with temperatures ranging from 70F on Tuesday to 22F today! The warm days were a great excuse to throw the windows open for some fresh air, and do a first wash of the outside window panes a little early. Lots of cooking this week: two kinds of fruit crumble, bread, pizza scrolls, snack mix, a big roast chicken & veggies, and a batch of chicken stock. I stopped by the store to replenish our tea supply, and noticed a small container of snack mix made by their bakery was almost $7, and my big pan would fit eight of those small containers and then some, so it really is a good savings (at least $40) on a nice treat for my husband. My crafts storage was in a state, so I did some organizing and rearranging there. The kitchen and bathrooms got a good clean and reorganization, too. It is a nice feeling having everything fresh. Does anyone else feel more peaceful when their home is clean and things tidied away?

    Crafts-wise, I finished a few cross-stitch pieces and made progress on a colorful shawl and a pair of socks, just putting some rounds in when I have a few minutes. Hoping to have a chance to do a few more this weekend!

    I hope everyone has a good week.

    1. Dear Kathy, I 100% feel calmer and happier when the house is in good shape. It absolutely affects mood and mental health. I feel anxious and unhappy in a mess. I believe it is why good motel rooms are so nice and fresh and calming. No clutter. And life is just better when we are not in chaos and we are organised. Things flow better.
      Your cross stitch is amazing! Thank you for the photos you post in the Tuesday Afternoon club. I love seeing them! I cant wait to see the shawl and sock! With much love Annabel.xxx

  8. I wish you could say all the things you want to say Annabel, I think I need to hear them to help me clarify a few things about this world that I’m starting to come to realise/learn about. It’s scaring me. I don’t like the direction we are heading in, and I feel so powerless to do anything to stop it 😞 I suppose like you quoted, go home and love your family is all that we can do. Why isn’t everyone paying attention. Why don’t they see! My head swirls with these thoughts daily.

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      It sounds to me you are awake and feel and know something is wrong as I do. The problem is I cant declare exactly what I think as I dont entirely know but I know some things for sure. If you would like to email me you are most welcome I am brinkzi21@hotmail.com and I would be glad to talk with you. But doing what we are doing, building up our homes and independence, being watchful, do our own research etc. During the week someone told me what we do will make no difference but I dont believe that at all. I believe what we do now will make a huge difference to our families. With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Thank you Annabel, I think I might just do that 🙏

  9. Beautiful words to finish on Annabel. Those tea towels are gorgeous. They will make a mundane job easier with their beauty to focus on. As I have said before, Chloe is an artist.
    This week has been about lots of small things. I finished off a bathroom bag for my Dad for his Birthday. I made a project bag to protect my 4" and 6" weave it square looms and weaving needles. I made a scissor pouch to stop my scissors poking holes in my travel sewing trundle. Extra car seat strap covers were made for Spencer and the baby due to arrive soon. I made our Katie a batch of Miracle Cleaner to help her out. In the kitchen I used up bananas and made banana muffins. Francis took some of these, and Dad's gift when he stopped in their on his way back to work. I have made two loves and three batches of crumpets( Spencer approved) from my new sourdough starter 'Doris". I used Cath's process for adding paper towel motifs to some cheap pillar candles. These were for the present box but have found a home here. Others will end up in the present box.
    We have had a few weeks of weather where it has been so hot even the seeds wont germinate. I have been adding the plants and seedlings that I have managed to start in the garden. I have been working on more compost after spreading out the previous batch. I get alpaca poop from a local farm and this has been spread amongst the potted fruit orchard. My goodness it has made a difference.
    Francis and Bluey won a meat tray at the Pub raffles. It was a huge one and added a lot of meat for meals to our freezer. The lamb chops, so darn expensive here, were an absolute favourite.
    We keep plugging away at keeping our home a refuge of peace and calm.

    1. Dear Jane, The miracle cleaner would be a good help to Katie and also not toxic in her household. The meat tray sounds fabulous!! As you say the chops alone are worth a fortune! Your Dads gift was lovely. The strap covers and project bag were very useful things to make. The Alpaca manure will add a lot of goodness to your garden. We keep adding adding to the garden and it truly makes so much difference over time! A very good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. I was just reading this as I get together all of my tins - such as you have pictured - to take to the local trash and treasure. I no longer need nor use them so decided to donate them to others who would love them. I've also sold for a very few dollars my big food processor, rarely used as I have a small kitchen and therefore have to drag it out of a cupboard to use it, and it's very heavy, plus my slow cooker - I simply do not like meals in the slow cooker and rarely used it so that is also going to a deserving home. I have donated such a lot in the past few months and hope someone else gets some use out of things I don't use or need anymore.

    1. I wish I was near your trash and treasure as I would buy the tins and the food processor and the slow cooker! I have the slow cooker going constantly especially with soup or stock but another would be great for soap and non food things. I am sure someone will love all of these! xxx

  11. Annabel I’m so happy that you found those chairs! What a great price. As the blue velvet is lovely. You’ll be so busy with all the fruit but how fantastic to be able to have fruit crumbles etc for later in the year. Chloe has such a talent, does she make cakes to sell? I’m sure she’d do well if she chose to.

    This week I tried a no-knead bread recipe. You literally chick all the ingredients in a bowl, mix with a spoon and leave for at least six hours. It makes amazing bread! And I worked out the cost as being the same as the cheapest loaf of bread at the supermarket. So I’ve been mass producing bread this week! I slice it up and freeze it so it can be easily toasted. I’ve also made buns for school lunches. I’m really happy with the cost savings here, plus the bread is much more nutritious.

    I’m making a real effort to stick to a meal plan so I don’t have to go shopping too often. I plan two weeks of meals but don’t allocate them to days so I still have a little wriggle room. So far so good. It makes me feel much more organised.

    I’m still on a crafting holiday. It’s so unusual for me. I just can’t find a project I’m keen on right now. So I’m reading lots and being creative in the kitchen. I’m sure I’ll get my enthusiasm back soon.

    Have a lovely weekend
    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you re Chloe's cakes. She makes them for family but she is so busy with two little boys and the farm. Maybe one day int he future she could make a little business for sure.
      As the weather changes I bet you begin to feel like some yarn projects. I was tuck for a while but now Im up and running again.
      The no knead bread is a very easy option! It would be much better than the supermarket cheap bread too. More nutritious for sure. All your baking is a huge help to your home economy and the meal planning is too. Have a really good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Dear Annabel, Chloe is so talented. I am amazed at her work, it is beautiful. What. way to make a birthday special. I love Scout's face at the door. So cute. I LOVE those chairs so much. Those kitchen towels are beautiful. I must try and sew some, instead of buying them to crochet next time. I am impressed with all that produce, what a huge help that is going to be and such an asset to your pantry. I went thrift store shopping and found three tops for me, a new school bag and the pairs of pants for the children in bigger sizes.I was also given a huge box of clothes for the children to sort through so I will go through it and hand down the rest, with some extra of ours that we have grown out of, to someone else.I truly love that Mother Teresa's. I will hold that in my heart. Lots of love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily, Thank you so much! Wow how great to be given a bag of children's clothes. I hope you find many thing you can use! You had good thrift store finds too! I think it is good to be ahead in larger sizes. I hope you are having a good new week it is going past fast already! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. I look forward to your posts every week! The flower bouquet is just gorgeous, are those dahlias? I also enjoyed the pictures of the animals. How sweet Scout looks while she waits at the door!
    I am entranced by your fruit tress. Have never seen a pear tree before. We planted some semi-dwarf fruit trees when we moved here 3 years ago, but we didn't really know what we were doing and they're not anywhere near ready to bear fruit yet.
    Normally here in east Tennessee it is around 40 degrees F, but this year the temperatures are crazy high. We hit 79 degrees this week. I'm thinking about planting some lettuces and snow peas, in case temperatures don't drop back to freezing.
    We will celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. When we were younger, we used to say we'd travel somewhere on our 25th. Now that it's actually here, I find that I'm perfectly happy at home and don't even want to travel. We are thinking about using the money to pay for our son's marching band trip (they're going to Hawaii next year!) instead.
    I've forever been wanting to get a few chickens. My husband is now on board and is planning to build me a little hen house. I told him that it's not a cost savings -- definitely not cheaper than buying eggs, even as expensive as they currently are -- but it's about the experience, and having a smaller food footprint. I have been borrowing books from the library, reading blogs, and watching videos to learn all I can about it.
    My husband has decided to stop our cable subscription. He says we rarely use it. He said we usually stream from Netflix or Amazon, both subscriptions we are already paying for. I never turn on the TV, so I'm fine with ditching cable. It will be a savings of around $110 per month.

    1. Thank you so much! Well I understand about loving where you are and not wanting to leave. When I leave all I want to do is I long to return. I would use the money on your sons trip or some other farm investment. You will love chickens! It is fantastic! To me it is about healthier, fresher and food security. World wide there are issues now with eggs. Eggs are the perfect whole food and protein. Very valuable to have. Plus the garden benefits as well.
      Oh the things you can do with that $110 a month! Just fantastic! Thank you for your kind words! xxx

  14. Dear Annabel,
    Your towels are so lovely! I need to do more short projects like that.
    The cakes that Chloe decorated are marvelous! She is so talented. Happy for you to find a set of beautiful chairs. I know you will bring out their beauty.

    While I did add to my nest by baking and recycling leftovers, my husband and I are adding to our family! I noticed Cheryl and Annabel's exchange and I thought I'd share our news. I have been commenting on this blog for years. I have shared that we have a big family. Now we are trying to adopt 2 teens from the foster care system. I can't think of a better way to reach others with the love of Christ! I hope all those who read this will be inspired to open their hearts and homes. If not as a parent then as a grandparent. Christ uses his people to help the broken.
    Blessings, Leslie

    1. Congratulations on adopting, this is wonderful news! Please update us.

    2. Dear Leslie,
      Thank you! How wonderful to adopt. I wanted to adopt all my life. I am not sure the age of your children so far but there is a big merit in adopting to keep the natural order of ages... it is an interesting subject to research. I think adoption is fantastic and there is so much need. I will be so excited to hear more as you go along! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. Dear Annabel,
    I love your towels! The floral print looks similar to a Ralph Lauren fabric that I have been admiring. I'm also so impressed with Chloe's cakes! They look beautiful. And your chairs! They look like a set of four I bought on Craigslist last year. Mine need to be repainted and recovered, though. I haven't decided on a fabric, but velvet is on my list.
    The boys and I have been sick all week. Colton had it last week and we took care of him- now he's better and taking care of us. He traded a guy for a forge last month. He has been reading and watching YouTube videos on blacksmithing. This week he made a pair of meat skewers for practice. He is also working on building some raised beds in the garden for me. Everything seems to have gone up in price, but happily lumber has come down.
    As I had the energy, I did some sewing. I took an old skirt and an old pair of Coltons overalls and made a work apron for John to wear when he helps Colton at the shop. It has lots of pockets for all of his tools. I will share pictures on the blog in the next couple of days.
    I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend.
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Thank you! The sheets are Ralph Lauren! They are so beautiful and good quality cotton... one had a damaged area and the other was not big enough for the bed hence I am sewing with them. I love them!
      The work apron with pockets sounds just fantastic. John will love helping his Dad in the shop! I will come over to the blog to see! I think blacksmithing would have many very useful applications. Also for gifts! I hope your week is going well! With love Annabel.xxx

  16. I took time this past week to go grocery shopping. It was a challenging shop since many items were out of stock, meat cases were low but I am a past mistress of thinking on my feet. As you said in the last post, buy ingredients then plan meals from those. That's just what I did.
    I went through my pantry and freezer and both need to be massively restocked but am awaiting a loan payment due us to come in and then I can go do some serious shopping. Again, mostly all ingredients. I can make anything if I have the basic pantry items and a supply of meat in the freezer!
    Hubby is researching his thyroid condition. We are pretty sure it's gotten out of whack again and while he could just go to the doctor, he's decided to figure it out on his own. It's not serious or I'd push him about the doctor, just aggravating more than anything.
    It is end of the weekend here and we are ready to get back into the work week ahead. I do try to take it easy on weekends but still we work all the time in some manner don't we?

    1. Dear Terri, It is very interesting to hear how the store was. I make it my motto to get what good ingredients I can. We can always make something from good ingredients.
      Re your husbands thyroid... Rain Country on you tube has videos on this as she and her husband both had thyroid conditions and were on medication. Heidi is a wealth of knowledge, tell your husband to check them out.
      I try to slow down on weekends.... but yes there are still things that most be kept up with for sure! With love Annabel.xxx


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