Feather your Nest Friday, 10th March, 2023.

It was a beautiful week.   We had rain,  lovely days,  cool nights,  just perfection.   Things are looking greener and I planted lots of seedlings into the garden which were rained in.  

My son in law send me a message and asked me if I would like two lambs.  Is the Pope a Catholic!?  Of course I said yes!   I drove down to pick them up with two bottles made up and my biggest basket in the back of the car.   They turned out to be pretty big lambs,  not new born.  One is a boy,  his name is Rambo and one is a girl, her name is Panda.  

The belts I save came in handy,  I measured them up and Andy adapted them to fit as beautiful collars. 

The first couple of days they were really shy and took a while to feed and get used to the bottle.   This is why they are tethered here.   Day three they began to be friendly.  Now they are running free and come when I call them.

At night I lock them up safe and sound.   We have foxes so they have a secure house until morning bottle time.

A few weeks ago when I made Pesto I saved the Basil stalks and put them in water and kept them on my kitchen windowsill.   I wanted to show how they have great root systems so quickly. 

Because the weather is cool and damp this was the perfect time to get them in the ground.

I had a collection of all shapes and sizes of tomatoes,  garlic and zucchini so they all went into the slow cooker and became pasta sauce. 

I got four jars, it is quite concentrated.

I decided I would like to turn another area into potted plants and make it much nicer.  Andy made me a gate to keep certain four legged individuals out.  

So this is my next project!  

I finished painting my chairs.

My cows came up to the fence...  this is to show how our front yard goes down hill to the paddock in front of the house.   So this is where the cows come and I give them biscuits and apples.

Tonight they came up and I ran down with biscuits.  Laffie is looking well and truly pregnant and has an udder and teats...  Maybe this is too much information.  Anyway how exciting!

I had the most amazing thrift store find.   I spotted a roll of cream fabric.  When I looked at it I noticed it had a pearl like lustre.  I thought surely not.... surely this isn't silk?    The next thing that was amazing is it had a price tag of $4.   THIS WAS FOR THE WHOLE ROLL.   I started to examine it and became convinced it was silk taffeta.   I shelled out $4 and when I got it home I looked into how to be sure...  including burning an edge.  It is silk!   This is hard to photograph but the pearlescent shine and texture is just so beautiful.

Finally I unrolled it.  There are 9.6 metres!  This has to be one of my best finds ever.  I also got some lovely kids clothes in bigger sizes so I washed them up and put them away.

Today we picked apples and pears.  There are still a lot on the trees,  especially the apples as not all are ripe.   These are the trees I was told were no good and never fruit.  Each year we get more!

It is all so beautiful.   

I will have the dehydrator,  slow cookers,  freeze drier and oven all going. 

Our pruning, watering,  building frames,  covering with nets... it has paid off so well.   We have a routine now and once we have finished harvesting the nets will come off.    The lambs will be able to eat lots of green grass under the trees then.   Come June we will prune them to keep them smaller than the frames we built.   It is worth it.  I just cannot believe how much fruit there is this year.   

There are hundreds of tiny Parsley plants coming up in the garden beds.   I love Parsley and it looks like I will have masses again soon.

At the swap tables I exchanged bags of pears for garlic and giant zucchini.  

So what a week!  I am very grateful.  I hope you had a good week too.   How did you feather your nest, build up your home,  increase your pantry or garden?  We love to hear!  xxx


  1. Annabel, what is the cost of running your freeze drier?
    I love your blog posts, and thank you for the time and energy you invests in it. Linda, upstate New York

    1. Dear Linda, Thank you so much! I am not sure the cost as I have the dehydrator going too a lot of the time. There are sites that calculate the costs of various appliances for your country... maybe try there. I know I am using more electricity freeze drying and dehydrating but then the price of food generally has been going up so much I am confident I come out in front. Also where I once considered how much keeping chickens cost me and how much I was saving on eggs... now I am just thinking at least I know I will HAVE eggs. Sorry I cant be of more help there. With love Annabel.xxx

  2. How wonderful to get two lambs. They’re so cute. I am happy for you to get so much fruit from those trees that “were no good”. Can you imagine if they had been good. Lol.
    I have been finishing the painting in my living room, dining room and hall. I’ve washed drapes and rehung them. Of course this has taken a few weeks to do. Then I cleaned out the washer/dryer area. My goal is to get the master bath cleaned and painted this week and the doors to the bedrooms painted too.
    I finished a quilt top this week and it’s off to the long armer to be quilted. I’m doing some appliqué on another quilt top but that will take me awhile.
    It’s been rather rainy and cold in Oregon so this is a good time to feather my nest before it’s canning season. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Phyllis in Oregon

    1. Dear Phyllis,
      You have been so busy! Painting is a lot of work but the results are beautiful! Wishing the drapes too is great to get done. Well done on the quilt top too! These are good jobs to get done while it is so rainy! Good luck with the goals for this week! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. What a find at the thrift store! You never know what will be there. Your lambs are darling!

  4. Dear Annabel,
    As always you had such a productive week. What a find on the silk. Wow. Amazing what a little nurturing does in the garden. You got so much fruit by doing this.

    Another week has just gone by in a flash for me. We did a big grocery shop this week for fresh vegetables and since there are only the two of us at home and some of the produce is large, like cabbage, kale, and broccoli, half of it will go in the freezer so that it doesn't spoil in the refrigerator from being in there too long. I always purchase carrots and radishes with tops, so more carrot top soup will be made today, and the radish leaves will go into salads. I found a copycat recipe for a brand name of sausage and I made sausage patties for the freezer this week, worked in my craft room,fluffed and dusted. I wanted to make some of the candles you showed us. Went to the dollar store to get some pillar candles -- not on the shelves. They always had candles so this was unusual. It may just be the closest store, but I doubt it. On our way home I wanted to stop at a thrift shop that I liked -- it was closed for good. We noticed some other store fronts were empty as well. A sign of the times it seems. It's more important than ever to be prepared. Blessings to all of the Bluebirds. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I hope you come across some of the bigger candles. Oh no abut the thrift store! Especially since it was one you like!
      Freezing the produce for later is a good idea, I am a big fan of freezing broccoli. I steam it for 2 minutes exactly and freeze it once it is properly cold. You would never know it was frozen once it is finished cooking. I agree... build that pantry! With much love Annabel.xxx

  5. Hello Annabel an Bluebird readers,
    Happy International Women*s Day for all the ladies here!

    The lambs look adorable! and the cows are so pretty. What an emotional period of time is in front of you waiting for the calves to be born!
    Lovely fabric from the thrift store, good quality and beautiful color.
    The crop from the fruit trees are amazing! After much work - pruning, watering, nest over them - you now have a bounty! Plenty of work but delicious result.
    I had a whole week of crazy busy days at work and it is cold here and rainy, so in the evenings I knitted on the orders. I have to finish 3 pieces until Easter plus my husband* bordeaux cardigan. Two almost ready, one needs just the collar and one is just a project in the bag. Getting there....getting there....
    For International Women*s Day I was gifted from my boy and my husband not with a bunch of flowers but with gladioli bulbs and dahlia tubers. How well do they know me!

    Wishing everyone a lovely weekend, Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura,
      Thank you! I am really learning the power of putting in the investment of work and time to get the result down the track! It is very exciting to have this much harvest! Laura as you finish your projects take photos and put them on instagram ok? It is great you are busy with orders!
      Bulbs for the garden are a beautiful gift! I adore Dahlias!! Have a very nice new week... maybe not so busy! With love, Annabel.xxx

  6. Congratulations, Annabel on all your wonderful fruit! Your hard work paid off.
    Andy is so talented....such a nice gate.

    My week was productive and busy. We baked 32 homemade bagels on Monday. I use the recipe from The Prudent Homemaker. Followed by 18 muffins to use up some pumpkin butter.
    I made 5quarts of chicken broth. 2 1/2 quarts was used for chicken and rice soup (several in the house were under the weather). So nice to make nourishing food that works like medicine. My husband brought home a can of Pepsi. I used it to make a Coca Cola cake. I try to reward my family for not drinking soda pop by making this cake instead. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Dear Leslie,
      Bagels sound just beautiful! You were baking in bulk! Pumpkin muffins would be very good. Chicken broth is truly as good as medicine! I agree! There is a recipe here to make scones using a can of lemonade. They are pretty good! Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,
    You had a splendid week! The lambs are so cute, the produce is a true blessing and the silk 👍. I wish we had such nice second hand stores here.
    Laffie is still adorable. Those treats have been a real blessing.
    I wish I had a whole list of accomplishments to share but I don't. I have been in a massive Fibro flare-up for twelve days, so I have done what I could, but that isn't much. A lot of thinking and praying was done, though.
    I did manage to use up quite a bit of the food in our refrigerators, so it wouldn't go to waste. I froze some Feta Cheese that was on sale. John picked up five packages since it was such a good sale. I made a Mediterranean Salad yesterday with one package of the feta.
    I wanted to do a survey and check inventory in the food storage rooms, but that didn't happen. Hopefully, I will manage that next week.
    Your fruit trees are producing very nicely. Love and care is the secret to all living things. Too often, people forget that trees, bushes, plants, nature are all living. Your love and care is felt by all, Annabel. The fruit trees are living proof.
    With much love,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you, it was a very nice week! I am really sorry you are in a fibro flare up. I hope it is passing and you are feeling much better. I love Feta cheese. Mediterranean is my favourite food by far.
      Truly I am amazed by the transformation in these fruit trees. So worth it! I love these trees! My younger trees are coming along too but it takes patience with new ones.
      I hope this is a much better week! With love, Annabel.xxx

  8. You had a great week! Those lambs are little darlings.

    We are finishing up two weeks at our lake house so we have had lots of rest and recreation. There are many cattle farms in this area and one thing we have noticed is more livestock than we have seen ever here. The fields are full of cows and so many calves. Looks like the farmers here are doing well and will have plenty to bring to market. This has been surprising.

    1. Dear Lana, I am so glad you had a beautiful time! That is very interesting as I heard some farmers de stocked. I am glad to hear this! A good sign! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Oh, well done on all your animals. They are all so happy, healthy, and well cared for. So excited for Laffie's pregnancy and your new lambs.
    Love, Leslie

    1. Dear Leslie, Thank you! We are only a week from possible calving now. The lambs are doing really well and I love them! I hope your week has been going well it has gone by almost already! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Great post, love the photo of Laffy eating a biscuit! Laughed out loud ;). Hilogene in Az

  11. Such abundance. God is so good! Blessings to you and your family.

    Roberta in So. Cal.

    1. Thank you so much Roberta! xxx

  12. Hi Annabelle and ladies, what an impressive amount of fruit you picked! Such a blessing 💕 this week I have been sewing and getting things ready for the craft business mom and I have. This week I sewed 12 hanging towels, cut out 40 jar toppers (so far) and made 40 jar openers. My husband tuned up my sewing machine too☺️ it needed some love as it's been working really hard. It's winter here so inside tasks are what is on the radar. The more things I can get done in the winter the more variety of products I have to sell later. Love the lambs so adorable and I know they will become much loved family members there on the farm. Have a wonderful weekend love Gaila in the NW

    1. Dear Gaila,
      You have been so busy! All these things should sell very well. I love pretty jar toppers! I agree about the weather... what you can get done inside while the weather is still wintery is really good. I hope you have had a very good week! With much love Annabel.xxx

  13. Ooh I love the two new little lambs 😍 so adorable!

    You’ve had a busy and productive week again as always. Here’s something I think you will find amusing…when I’m in a funk or feeling lazy (which is frequent for me, my energy levels fluctuate like the tides) I think to myself “What would Annabel do?” And I think about all you achieve each week and how you never seem to sit still and I use that thought to motivate me into action! Ha Ha, it works! So thank you 😁

    The fabric you bought is beautiful and I can’t wait to see what you make with it, and I’m waiting with bated breath to see Laffie’s little calf when it is born! We all remember Laffie as a calf, things have truely come full circle!

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Oh thank you that is a lovely compliment! It is true, Laffie was my first calf I ever raised! I was so thrilled with her and her we are waiting for her calf! I dont think it can be two long now. Maybe a couple of weeks. I fed her little apples tonight as there are a few tiny ones so the cows get those. Thanks so much Cheryl, with love Annabel.xxx

  14. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    That gorgeous silk is the best find! (Also I just love pearls and that necklace is gorgeous.) So beautiful! Your new lambs are adorable, and what an amazing lot of great produce and cooking and gardening. What a good week!

    This week I did the usual things (loads of washing/disinfecting and cooking and baking - impossible pie, fruit kuchen, spaghetti sauce, muffins, a sort of combination snack mix/nuts n bolts to use up unsweetened cereal odds and ends), stocked up on produce and dairy at the price club (and for the first time noticed an empty case! and the berries looked just awful, very unusual), got all of our medications refilled, added some canned goods to the pantry, painted the big steel door on the storm shelter, spruced up the patio area, and potted up some rosemary and lavender.

    In my part of OK, food prices are continuing to rise, but gasoline remains under $3/gallon. My energy costs are also crazy, without using more gas/electricity than last year at this time. Our town now allows chickens in city limits, though my HOA does not. To be honest, I am considering just getting a few hens and following the "better to ask forgiveness than permission" tactic if someone says anything.

    Crafts and creativity-wise, I've had some challenges getting going this week, but I did make some soap and manage to fully finish one cross-stitch piece and put stitches in some others, finish one sock of a pair, and work on my knitted shawl. My husband has had pretty low spirits lately, and is tired from the anemia (thanks for the iron recommendations). This weekend is supposed to be lovely weather, so I'm hoping to get him outside and enjoying the scenery with a little day trip to a town with some mountains and pretty wild areas.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, Thank you! I love pearls... I love lustre and the glow of them. So I love the fabric!
      You had such a productive week and the painting of the door was an extra thing too! If your yard is quite private... you might be able to get away with a few chickens. OR you might have a few bantams... which are that bit smaller and quieter. But they can still be good little layers.
      Great job on the soap and I just love your stitching. Having had anemia it truly is just draining. I wonder if they can give him an infusion? Otherwise he should improve with supplements and even will all the eggs. However my daughter has a regular infusion and the results are almost immediate... I am sorry he is in low spirits. Getting outside and a drive sounds lovely. Kathy you work very hard to support him and help him, look after yourself too. With much love Annabel.xxx

  15. Dear Annabelle, what a joy to adopt 2 more lambs. Your fabric is gorgeous, and your apples and pears are such a blessing. It seems so funny...in the us, i am getting seedlings started and you are bringing in the harvest. When your busy harvest season is over i hope you can get some well deserved rest. Whatever vitamins you are taking i want some!

    1. Thank you! Spring and starting again is very exciting! For me I am agreeing with you I am getting to the point of needing a rest. I was so wiped out last night it wasnt funny. Today I am giving my daughter lots of fruit and my Mum. xxx

  16. There is something so peaceful about home life in the bush - at least, when the Almighty is carrying us. That feeling emanates from your post!

    I always have a good week. I just have to think to remember it all!

    One of the high points was baking a cheesecake in a camp oven!

    It was nice buying woollen blankets for only three to five dollars each, at a local op shop! I think these will be great for my working holidays! .... One of my clients returned tomatoes and garlic for the eggs I gave her!

    I find that life around me is a beautiful embroidery of goodness. There are so many wonderful people, and uplifting projects. After all, the Almighty always had a wonderful plan, no matter the adversity, for His people everywhere.


    1. Dear Rachel,
      A cheese cake in the camp oven sounds just beautiful! I think living in bush surroundings is the best of all!
      Woollen blankets are wonderful. The wool wash makes them so soft and smell lovely. They are so very useful! You did great swap as well!
      It is true how there are so many good people. The more good people we have in our circle the better! What a nice report thank you Rachel! xxx

  17. I get exhausted reading how much you have achieved Miss Annabel. All your efforts to build your property into a working farm are just coming ahead in leaps and bounds for you.
    Your parsley, potted up, will be another great item for the swap tables. I hope to finally get to our next swap meeting. My mulberry seedlings will be fully established in their pots by that time. I have hundreds of tomato weedlings coming up. I might add them to the swap as a mystery tomato.
    Those lambs are really pretty looking creatures. It is adorable to hear that they come running when they see you. It's also wonderful that they have each other for company.
    I am looking forward to seeing what you do with your new area. Andy's gate looks pretty good.
    Our big news is that our Katie and her Jared have welcomed a baby boy into the family. Toby Steven Scott. We will get to meet him once they are home and have settled in a little. Spencer meets his new brother this morning. Katie is tired but she is doing well. Bluey is pretty happy as Toby and Bluey now share a Birthday. Bluey thinks a new Grandson is the perfect Birthday gift.
    Life is chubby bubby good.

    1. Congratulations Jane and Bluey! That is the best news. Toby is very lucky to be born into your family. He will be loved and cherished. Spencer will have his best friend beside him for life. How amazing you have two special lads in your life born on the same day X Love Lily

    2. Dear Jane, A new baby is the biggest and best good news of any week! I was so busy being happy with all the Parsley I didnt think to pot any up! But you are right... some should be thinned out and I will pot those for the trading table! More has come up this week so I must have a few hundred seedlings now! Many thanks! With love Annabel.xxx

  18. Dear Annabel, I love your blog so much. I love hearing about the animals and the produce. Look at all that produce. It is fantastic and you will make the most of it. The lambs are so cute! I love how you found the silk- what a find!
    I haven’t got a whole lot done, but then probably keeping a house tidy, children and husband fed kept me busy. I am still crocheting the edge of a baby towel for a friend’s gift. I made two chocolate cakes with buttercream icing which were demolished very quickly. I found some books and children’s clothes at the op shop and donated a bag of too small and I’m trying to walk more regularly.
    I’m going to bed though as I have a headache that’s getting worse. Thank you for such an encouraging post love Lily

    1. Dear Lily,
      Thank you! Keeping up the house and meals is a lot of work. Any extras are a bonus. A crochet edge baby towel will be a beautiful gift! Your baking sounds delicious!! Great that you could get some bigger items at the op shop! I hope your headache went away and you had a good new week! With much love Annabel.xxx

  19. Dear Annabel
    That is seriously lovely silk, I wonder if it is a wedding that never went ahead.

    After reading Denise’s update and watching Patara I spent the weekend planting out berries and fruit trees that I’d grown or rescued. Also the moon phase was great for transplanting plants. It really works !!
    At last we are getting zucchini and tomatoes to process.

    Hold on tight everyone, our banking world seems like it’s in for a lot of bother due to the very large collapse in US last Friday. Which means we all are going to be involved. Just like the problems in food industry, health and world politics. I’m so glad to be able to focus on my garden and cooking for my positivity!

    1. Dear Kate,
      Planting fruit trees and berries is my idea of a lovely weekend! And bringing in zucchinis and tomatoes is fantastic! We can keep getting harvests right into Autumn which I love.
      Well, since that collapse so much has happened! Credit Suisse seems to have a helping hand but Im not sure it will be enough. I think they are putting patches on their patches and it is going to be interesting and possibly terrifying to watch. I note... things always happen on Fridays! With much love Annabel.xxx

  20. I love the names you’ve come up with for your lambs! I always enjoy hearing how you care for your land—I’ve got four mystery fruit trees (this home is new to us) on our property that need pruning. I’m sure they’ve never been taken care of, so I’m planning to trudge through the snow and prune them back hard and as low as I think I’m able without killing them. I also built a structure (hoop houses with thick black plastic) to melt some of the snow off in my garden so I can plant the cold-hardy crops out as soon as possible. I know some will think I’m crazy for doing this, but I don’t care. Paying $3/head of lettuce is crazy—especially when you go through 3 a week and they used to be $1.25. My grow light station is so packed, I ordered the elements to create another using a gift card I was given. All in all, lots of garden projects that have kept me challenged, filled, active, and happy! Have a great week!

    1. Thank you so much! I hope your fruit trees will respond to pruning and then watering through summer. You might get some wonderful surprises. Each year our fruit has gotten bigger and better. We watered much more this year and it is amazing. I am thinking the hoop houses are much the same as a greenhouse... and should work to get things started early. Now... we had lettuces go to $10 each... but the price has come back down to about $3 now. They are easy to grow though! The grow light will help you get everything started, fantastic work! With love Annabel.xxx

  21. Hi Annabel

    Rambo and Panda are adorable as is Laffie. I love seeing the pictures of how your animals have grown, I still see Laffie as a calf and now she is going to be a Mum herself.

    What an amazing find on the silk.

    Things here have well been stinking hot, humid and uncomfortable. Summer has not left us at 6.30am on Saturday it was 27 and 93% humidity just to give you some idea and it got up to 36 here an not good when our bedroom air con is broken and awaiting the call for them to arrange a time to fix it. So of course we are still using the other air cons in the house as it is just too hot. Late yesterday a storm passed through but this just made it much hotter into the evening.

    I have cut out the material for the table runners I am making for myself and I am loving the colours. DP has taken on an extra shift this week so wont be home till tomorrow late afternoon instead of tonight and DD12 is sick with only 3 weeks left of school including this week.

    I have been saving up my empty flour jars to put rice and pasta in to and lucky I had a few too many an my friend thought it was a great idea so she got the ones I did not want so that will be my task over the coming week to get the labels off and fill up. Other than that it has just been little bits and pieces of things getting done

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      I really feel for you with humidity like that. The beauty of air con is it removes some of that water from the air. I hope you can get the bedroom air con fixes asap.
      I hope A is feeling much better. Jars are the best containers I think. Having things sealed up and out of packets is much more long lasting.
      The tables runners sound like a beautiful project! With much love Annabel.xxx


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