Feather your Nest Friday, 17th March, 2023.

Today is Chloe's birthday!  We had a very nice day and a lovely week! 

I have had to reinstate my time honoured way of getting a lot done...  break up my days into outside/watering and running around,  inside cleaning and baking etc and then also sitting to do some sewing, card making or writing.   The sitting part is a rest.   With a cup of tea.  So I did get some cards made and some note books decorated.   

My goal is to package the cards into packs of five or six and give as practical gifts.  

Each day I worked on fruit.   The freeze drier and dehydrator were running.  

I also made a big pot of very thick apple sauce.   Some of this went to Chloe for her boys.  It is just delicious.

We picked more fruit.  I kid you not this harvest was just as big as the last!  And next week we will do the same again.

Some tomatoes came in with the load too.

Both the apples and pears are getting bigger and bigger.   I took this photo of a pear in my tea cup...

A friend gave me a bag of lovely Chillies.

I packaged up freeze dried apples and zucchini.

Today Chloe came with the boys for a Birthday afternoon tea.   Mum made the cake and it was beautiful!  I was so happy about this as you have all see Chloe's cakes and mine are "rustic" at best!

Mum also drove this half an hour over a bumpy dirt track and it arrived in perfect condition!  

Mum and I both made Chloe a dinner so she has two nights off!
We also loaded her up with all the left overs so she has deserts and a weekend of treats which I know the boys will demolish.   (By this I mean Luke as well!)   So it was a very nice afternoon for us all.

A friend gave me two big boxes of beautiful Whiskey and Liqueur bottles.  Some of them are lovely.  I am thinking I could make more Coffee Essence,  Coffee Liqueur....  maybe even bubble bath.   So I will get them washed up and plan.  I could even make Miracle Cleaner and use them for Laundry soap... mmm so many possibilities!   

This same friend and I were talking gardening.   She is local so she understands my struggles.  I pointed out a problem area and just like that she said "why don't you just sit a giant rock there?"     This property has many, many rocks in all shapes and sizes.  Rocks look beautiful in gardens.   She said anywhere she has trouble she sits a giant rock on it and problem solved.  I think she is onto something...    Over the weekend I am marking out places that could do with a rock and we will go rock hunting!  I can't wait!  

The news is never dull.  Electricity is going up another 30% AGAIN.  Wherever you look it is really a dumpster fire.   So build up your nest!xxx


  1. Happy birthday to Chloe! I love the cake your Mum made and the beautiful afternoon tea that you put on. Now we really know where Chloe and Lucy get their creativity and style from- you and your Mum. I think you cannot put a price on a beautiful time like this, where everyone can be together as long as they like and are relaxed. I love how you both cooked her dinner for two nights, what a great gift. I love how you have divided your day. I need to be that productive! I love your produce, it must look lovely on the shelves. I took the children to the beach this afternoon, it was lovely! A great way to start the weekend. I also bought a children’s jacket for $4, a wide brimmed hat for $1 and a little chapter book for 50c. One thrift store’s prices have gone up I am sure, so I need to pay attention and find the good deals. Luckily there is another one. I bought a little thermos for the children’s lunches and I think this will pay off quickly lol im keeping an eye on the Credit Suisse situation and I also heard electricity prices are going up here 30 per cent. I’m hoping for some crocheting, gardening, bike riding and cooking over the weekend. Lots of love Lily

    1. Dear Lily,
      The beach sounds lovely! It is warm here but cloudy. Lots of watering to do. You had great thrift store finds! Some of ours once or twice a year have a sale... which is usually a "bag sale" where you can fill a bag for a certain price. They are good! I am watching Credit Suisse, also First Republic. I remember when my girls were little... Mum would often make us a meal and it was just so nice to have the evening off. The gift of help is the best of all I think!
      Enjoy your weekend! I am bring out some crochet as well! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Happy birthday to Chloe! All the good wishes from far away for her and her boys!!!

    The cakes look wonderful, I saw something similar in a magazine, made by professional confectioners, so congratulations!

    What a great harvest you have! I admire how you work up different recipes and preserve all of them! Nothing goes to waste!

    Today I woke up with great energy at 5 am, did a lot of house chores before leaving for work at 8 o*clock, the sun is out and it gets a bit warmer, although the grass was white frozen at dawn. But Spring is in the air and I am happy! My golden ladies are too, I think, they lay eggs everyday now and speak to me cheerfully when we meet.

    You are right, the prices continue to grow, especially for food. I go once a week shopping, I look for markdowns, discounts, and buy what I think it is ok. I am flexible on what I buy, the basic needs are already in the pantry, I just need to keep up with the quantities, and we use/cook what we have or what we find for a god price. I think being flexible, cooking from scratch, rotating to avoid boredom and using up what you have in vary recipes could be valuable skills for the coming days

    Good advice, to build up our nests.

    Sending love from laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura, Spring and laying hens! Very nice! Also feeling good and full of energy is wonderful! I agree with you... we need to be flexible, make the most of what we have, watch for deals, improvise... all are skills and very helpful. When I cant get what I want I get something else so much stocks overall dont go down. Have a lovely weekend! With love, Annabel.xxx

  3. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Happy birthday to Chloe! Her cake and other goodies look so good. You had an absolutely amazing week with all of that produce and those beautiful cards!

    It is starting to be the very busy time of year at my work, so this week was mostly cooking (baking day things, using up fruit) and doing some deep clean things like oiling some of our wood furniture and cleaning floors. Cards from my stash went to family members to let them know we're thinking of them. On the weekend I found great clearance prices on nice warm socks and a few other things for my husband to help him stay cozy. He is doing ok and on a chemo holiday this week since his labs were too low to treat. I'm hoping the break helps him find some more energy, though he is doing ok.

    I've had very little crafting time, but did finish 1 stitch and put a few more stitches into another project. Hoping to do a little soapmaking over the weekend - it is supposed to be very cold here so crafting sounds good!

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

    1. Dear Kathy, I hope the week off treatment gives your husband a break and he feels a lot better. It is tough week after week for sure.
      You are amazing as always! Warm socks are a good buy! I hope you have a relaxing weekend and lots of crafting... soap making would be wonderful too! That sounds so good. With much love Annabel.xxx

  4. Cake decorating certainly runs in the family! Yum! Happy birthday Chloe. It is St. Patrick's Day, here. She shares her day with an amazing missionary.
    Your cards are so beautiful. Such an excellent gift. Congrats on the bountiful harvest! Love how you and your gardening friend solved the soil problem

    1. Thank you so much! Yes St Patricks Day here as well! I have been out counting spaces for big and smaller rocks. They are going to look amazing! Thank you! xxx

  5. With rocks!
    Sorry, bumped the publish button.
    My youngest son and I dug up some free soil first thing this morning. So nice to get free compost as mine is still breaking down in my bins.
    Saved money on home haircuts, baking and 2 homemade birthday cakes. My mother-in-law had her 83rd and my youngest daughter turns 10.
    Blessings, Leslie

    1. Dear Leslie,
      Oh now I know who wrote the above comment! Compost is always so good! Happy Birthday to your dear Mother in law! Also to your Daughter! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Happy Birthday, Chloe! A lucky day for a birthday! :) The cake your mum made is gorgeous, Annabel...love the huge shards of chocolate! All the food, from the party to your fruit is making me hungry! And your cards are beautiful. The way you break up your day is a good way to get lots done. I'm a fan of trying to get some work, some learning, and some fun in each day...and often these categories overlap. And then if you add in outside, inside, cleaning, cooking, crafting, well...I could go to bed at night and feel that I had really accomplished something and had a satisfying day. A day of total leisure (i.e. just lounging around) gets old really fast for me...I get restless and feel lethargic and bored.

    Today is housecleaning day, which is pretty much almost done, so this afternoon I'll bake some Irish Freckle Bread to go with potato soup for a nice St. Patrick's Day meal, work on some crafting, and do a little exercise. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you! I told Mum she did a beautiful job. It tasted so good two!
      I really do better with breaking up the day. Im doing it now. I have done a lot outside, planting and watering. Now Im having a cup of tea and reading and replying for a little while. Then I will revive and get back to it!
      Have a lovely weekend! Your soup and bread sound good! With much love Annabel.xxx

  7. Happy Birthday to Chloe! That was a beautiful cake!

    It has been a wild week here in the USA with the bank failures and worry. We must keep looking to our Heavenly Father for our peace and assurance.

    1. Dear Lana, Yes, I saw! I am watching as close as I can. Yes we need to pray and be wise. Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Happy birthday to Chloe! The afternoon tea looks beautiful, and well done to your mum for transporting the cake in one piece! I’m always scared when I have to do that lol. I love that you’ve gifted her some meals so she doesn’t have to cook, what a treat for a mum of little ones. Wow your fruit haul is excellent.

    Your were so right to tell me to pull out out some crochet to get me crafting again, I’ve added 80 rows in two weeks!! Only 40 to go. I’m so pleased with how it’s looking and it will be finished before the cold weather really sets in. Thank you for the encouragement, it’s so nice to be back making something.

    Have a lovely weekend
    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, I put my wool projects away over summer as you know. I did smaller cotton projects. I have a blanket for Sidneys bed that will probably take me a few months and a half made blanket in pinks. It has cooled and I am suddenly in the mood to get stuck into them! Crochet blankets are just beautiful, soft and warm.... they show a lot of love and look so nice in a room. Having a project for evenings is so calming too. Bring on winter as I will get more time for this kind of thing! Thank you re Mums cake! With much love Annabelxxx

  9. Your tea for Chloe was so nice Annabel. And mum's cake looks so good! Your getting so many apples and pears! And your cards and notebooks are so pretty! I've slowed down a little but I've managed to decorate a few boxes and remake Addie's mini tea towel and dishcloth. I'm in love with pleating ribbon like I did for one of the boxes but I'm a little messy with the glue so it's not as neat as I would like it but I'll try again. Today we got baby chickens yay? This is my first time raising peeps so I hope all goes well. One is a little sluggish so I hope it's ok. I did a big shop so need to get it all put away and organized. We've loaded up scrap to take to the scrapyard and Rick needed a way to haul out some old mowers from a weedy area without using the big tractor because it's so muddy so he made something to use with the small tractor and it worked great! He had everything here so it only cost his time. So much to do haha!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I love the boxes you made and I am so glad you make Addie a new gift set. She will love them. I am so happy about your chickens! I am glad about your big shop also! You had a great week! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxx

  10. Happy Birthday Chloe! :)
    Your fruit windfall looks amazing Annabel. Have a lovely weekend.
    Much love, Heidi xx

    1. Thank you Heidi! Have a good new week!xxx

  11. Dear Annabel
    Give my belated best birthday wishes to Chloe. She would have enjoyed all the treats, as one does a lot more after becoming a busy Mum.
    Apple sauce sounds so yummy. I’m waiting on my quinces and hope the parrots leave me some. Between the birds and now the fruit bats it’s getting impossible unless everything is securely netted.

    1. Dear Kate, A sensor light could work with the bats... but it sounds like you would still have the parrots. Large sets of net curtains or actual fruit tree netting is fantastic. I absolutely love Quinces. They smell so lovely. I hope you get some! Should be an interesting week ahead! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Sounds like such a wonderful time spent with people you love. I spy one of your beautiful newly painted chairs in the background! Those roses are just gorgeous. Giving meals (and hence the gift of a night off cooking) is so thoughtful, I would have loved that as a young mom.
    This week we picked up our new chicken coop, and found out that the friend who is hatching chicks has 11 in the brooder! I'm nervous and excited about our new undertaking. Our temperatures turned cold again this week; we had several freeze warnings. So it's not time to put out any plants yet....I'm just dreaming about this year's garden.

  13. Such beautiful pictures of your harvest! We are at the other end of the gardening season. We have had a long, cold winter. It started so early that I didn't get any fall clean-up done. I live in a moderately cold climate (northern Idaho) and we have had snow on the ground for 4-1/2 months. My front yard, which faces north, still hasn't melted, although the rest of the yard has. I started some garden cleanup today. I raked out two raised beds that I use for vegetables and stuffed the wheelie bin full. I have one more raised bed that I can clear, and a couple of narrow flower beds that I can get to without walking on them, but the rest will have to wait until it warms up and dries up more.

    I only have room for a tiny garden (with only the two of us, I don't need more, anyway). I've decided to grow two tomato plants in 5 gallon buckets to give me a little more yield. It's not a lot, but every little bit helps, right?

    Happy belated birthday to Chloe! What a thoughtful, wonderful celebration!

  14. I think a lovely homemade birthday treat like you pictured is just the loveliest thing. No fussy stuff or huge expense but just a good family gathering.

    I have spent a lot of time thinking and thinking and watching. I am going to take time this week to jot down my thoughts. Not anything earth shattering but just reminders to myself to work with what I have and not fret over what I haven't got just yet.

  15. Hi Annabel

    Belated Birthday wishes to Chloe. The cake looked gorgeous and your Mum did well on the bumpy drive.

    This week for us has been a lot of thinking and sorting and yes we have a little more clarity on things.

    We celebrated 17 years together and had a lunch treat as DP was off.

    Went to sewing and with the table runner I am doing it will work out to be 4 runners I will get out of the material that I have, so I think I will keep 2 and gift the other two.

    It has continued with the hot humid weather here but I managed to be out this morning and come home having just left the ceiling fan and a big industrial fan going to keep things cooler and not have to turn the air con on until around 2pm.

    I am not sure how things work in other states but I know that when I was in NSW and here in QLD we were able to contact our provider who gave us an estimate of what to pay each month (so we pay the same each month) so that we have a minimal bill in the summer time as opposed to the big bill that it is with the air con use. Our winter bills are fairly cheap but our summer bills are much larger so it is evened out over the year and sometimes we only need to top up around $150 on our biggest summer bill.

    Hope everyone has been having an enjoyable week
    Take Care
    Aly xxx


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