Feather your Nest Friday, 31st March, 2023.

It has been a long week!   I had my trip to the city and just as predicted while I was away the first two calves were born!   The second calf on the scene belongs to Laffie.  Because she is completely tame I can get nice and close for photos.  

 


This calf is two days old.    



Because Laffie isn't frightened the calf isn't either.    So exciting and so cute!

Five to go!  It could be more but we can see five are getting close.   Checking the cows and calves a few times a day is a joy but I sure am noticing the day going by faster.

I take out biscuits or apples for Laffie and Loui.   Today Loui realised there was a basket on the passenger seat of my old car.  So he skipped coming to my window and went for the basket instead.  



This is a good use for any damaged apples,  they just love them.

The lambs have been promoted,  although they don't see it that way,  to one bottle a day.   They have grown heaps.   Tomorrow I am moving them into a bigger paddock as they are running out of grass in the orchard.   They will love this!

While I was away Andy worked on the rock garden some more.   I was so excited to see it when I got back!   It is taking shape.  I think we will have one more rock moving day next week.  

In the city I was able to collect an absolute ton of Agave plants and succulents.    Family with gardens are a big bonus!   This is what the back of my car looked like when I got home...


My luggage was under there.   My Aldi shopping was on the back seats.   πŸ˜€
I had other things like a tray of 15 cans of corn!


Corn was on my list because I have not been able to buy Australian corn for a long time.   There are some countries that are ok with me (for food) and others not so much.   So yay I found Aussie corn! 

Once home I had a lot of planting and unpacking to do.   I am still doing it.

Little by little some sections of the garden are coming together.



Hopefully next week I will have much more to show!    We have had rain which is helping too. 

I wanted to make a Tuna Mornay and I was out of Cream of Chicken soup mix so I made a double batch.  This is the most useful stuff.   It is a way of having these easy mixes ready to go and not having a list of numbers, chemicals and also it is gluten free.  


The recipe for this (and some others) is here Money Saving Dry Mixes.    It is nice to have a mixing session and fill up jars.  

With the weather cooling Andy has begun cutting wood.   This is the first load.  He has worked on his set up and now splits the wood directly into the tractor bucket.    This was from a tree that was blown over last year.   


We now keep one full year of wood ahead,  stacked in the shed.    We may get further ahead.  I already have a lot of kindling collected,  enough to give the girls kindling when I visit them.    I collect pinecones and fill baskets everywhere with them,  they are so handy! 

This weekend I am aiming to work on apples and pears,  planting and harvesting tomatoes.    So many tomatoes to pick!  I am very grateful for so much produce.   With all of this (plus calves!) I have forgotten where the sewing room is.   For now I am better off to concentrate on what needs doing. 

Now I have to say the world is a bin fire.  This morning I felt it severely,  a great heaviness was over both of us.   I decided to go check the cows,  work in the garden,  get some sunshine,  visit my daughter and Grandsons who were playing on a mountain of sand and having the best time!    Do the next thing.   Keep going.  Use the time wisely. xxx















Comments

  1. Annabel your cow with its head in the car is so lovely!! the ones where I live run away from us most of the time,,the little calf is very cute tooπŸ™‚ I made a chocolate cake this evening I am up early tomorrow for a short shift & may call in to NQR on my way home,,have a wonderful weekend I love reading your blog every week x

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    1. Thank you Melissa! It has been a really busy new week already! Thank you for your kind words!xxx

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  2. The rock garden looks beautiful, I love it. And the calf! I was tempted to light the fire today, it was cool, and tomorrow is supposed to be cold and wet, so I think it will be lit. I try to hold off until Mother's Day but I must be getting old, I am starting to feel the cold. Good find on the corn for the pantry. Not much done here this week, I'm just starting to feel better, so hopefully I'll get everything on the list crossed off over the weekend. I too am feeling the weight of the world, and to make it worse, Wayne was in the city for work, stopped at traffic lights, and a guy raced up, opened the door and stole his phone! And what makes me so cross is if the guy had said I need money, he'd have given him some no questions asked. So everyone, keep your car doors locked, especially when you're stopped in traffic. Don't stop praying and don't stop filling your pantry. xxx

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    1. Dear Cath, I was really shocked about the robbery! I am taking your advice as I was in the city and I didnt have my doors locked. Times have changed. I hope you are feeling much better this week. You know I feel as you do and each day is important! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  3. These days, we try to stay to busy to let the tumult of the rest of the world crash in. We are aware of most things going on outside but try to focus on what we can do to positively impact ourselves, our family and those around us- known and unknown to us.
    We have had many “opportunities” come our way this week, which always require putting in some hard work, but it’s given us so much satisfaction! We’ve been able to add to our pantry, help others add to theirs, improve our surroundings and create things from our stored supplies (both food and fabric) that will bless others.
    And that feels like it is enough. We will continue to be aware and take advantage of opportunities around us as they come around and find joy in the things that matter most.

    Gardenpat in Ohio

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    1. Dear Pat, That is the best thing to do and each week amazes me as opportunities that keep us flat out busy do arise! Being busy and industrious also is a stress relief and help to our families and friends. This week already has been huge but good! Hope the same for you! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  4. I remember when Laffie first came to you and now she has a baby of her own, so sweet. You have such a special bond with your animals.
    Your rock garden is beautiful as is everything you put your hands to, Annabelle!
    I know what you mean about the state of the world. Our president, as I'm sure you know, was just indicted. His enemies (and ours) just won't stop but Almighty God is still on the throne. Hallelujah!

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    1. Dear olderandwiser, Thank you! This week we finished getting the rocks into the garden. I am praying and I do believe God will do a mighty thing here! I love the USA like a second home and I follow the situation as close as I can. As you say God is on the throne, Amen! With love Annabel.xxx

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  5. The calves are such a blessing. The little one featured looks so healthy. Mum is doing a good job.
    I have been spending time helping Katie out at her house. I can do various jobs whilst she is healing. Little Toby is three weeks old today. He is such a good baby. Spencer is starting to get used to having Mum's lap already occupied by his baby brother.
    I havent done much in the sewing department either. I have spent a lot of time in the garden moving hoses around trying to keep it alive. We did get some rain yesterday, which cooled things down to a much more manageable level. I am also knitting a new cardi for me. I do a few rows each night when we're watching TV.
    In the kitchen Bluey has been busy making up meals, boiled eggs and cold meats for me to take around to Katie's. I have been making Spencer sized pancakes and muffins for their morning teas. Katie and Jared have really appreciated being able to take a packaged meal out of the freezer to heat up in the microwave.
    This week I will be getting things ready for the little girls. We are hoping they will be here for Easter. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Dear Jane, What a big help you both are to your daughter. This all helps that settling in time with a new baby very much. They are off to a good start. I hope you do get to see the girls for Easter! We think/hope we have some rain coming... like you we hope so and it would be a big help. Also we are in the same situation... not much chance to sew! Life will settle down a big sometime soon! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  6. Debby in Kansas USA31 March 2023 at 05:53

    Annabel has babies!!!! So sweet! My aunt and uncle had a small dairy and I was always sneaking out to pet the calves.

    I love your rock garden. Succulents don't survive winter here. Kansas is in a drought so we're looking for ways to reduce the grass in back. It has to be done carefully because when it does rain....break out the ark! We don't want the basement to flood. I'm thinking of putting a section of native grasses and butterfly bushes in one corner that's far from the house. We need to stop at the nursery for a chat with our local expert. She hasn't steered us wrong yet!

    Oh, the world is one giant dumpster fire, no doubt. Doing the next thing is about all one can do to keep their sanity. And pray while you do it! It seems like the more people get, the meaner and nastier they become. I love that bumper sticker that says something about Jesus needing to pull over the car and whack everyone with his sandal!

    Enjoy your babies!

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    1. Dear Debby, I am thinking God must be losing patience. For sure. Thank you so much re the garden! Yes getting good advice for what to do is the best idea. For us winters aren't too bad and succulents do really well. So now I am collecting all the varieties I can as we got all the rocks into place now! Already the week has been very busy! Many thanks, with love Annabel.xxx

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  7. You my dear are a wise and amazing woman. I hold you in great esteem.

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    1. Thank you for your very kind words and beautiful compliment! xxx

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  8. I agree, the world is a complete bin fire. Never heard that phrase before, it is the exact right visual for where we are. I decided yesterday afternoon driving home, listening to the news on the radio, that I just couldn’t listen anymore. Out of my control and all it does is make me grind my teeth. So I will focus on my world. Love Laffi! And your rock gardens are beautiful. Happy Friday, hilogene in Az

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    1. Dear Hilogene, We mostly cant listen to the TV or radio as they talk the biggest amount of lies and rubbish so I agree with you! I hope your week is going well, it has been so busy here but a lot of good things! With much love Annabelxxx

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  9. What a week you had! I love the little calf. I agree about the world. People have put their heads under a rock and are just ignoring what is happening. Here debt has skyrocketed and people are just burning through their savings in an effort to just have fun and ignore all the bad news around us. This will not end well. We are like you on that we continue on as always and keep stocking our pantry and taking care of business as best we can along with keeping hold of our savings and staying debt free. I am seeing retirees complaining that the cannot afford their house payment. Why did they retire without paying off their house???

    Andy's wood splitting set up is pure genius! Kudos!

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    1. Dear Lana,
      You are wise. Being debt free is the best thing of all or working towards it. No it will not need well for those that are not awake and ignoring what is happening around them. Priorities always come home to roost in the end... I am glad you like Andys wood splitting set up. He gives loads of wood to a few people that could do with a hand as wood is an extreme price. We spotted more trees that fell last winter that need cutting up so our supply is plentiful! I hope your week is going well! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  10. How exciting to have new calves and lambs! And your rock garden is just lovely. Sorry to hear that you and Andy have been feeling rather weighed down by the craziness of the world at the moment. I am praying that God will bless you and your family with His peace in the midst of it all. Your blogs have been an immense blessing to me. Philippians 4:4-9.

    Roberta in So. Cal.

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    1. Thank you so much Roberta for your kind words and encouragement.xxx

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  11. Thank you for your post. It’s so odd in the U.K. Like you I need to just take a step and keep going. I went food shopping in Aldi and oh my goodness the food was expensive. But as Jim says I need to be great full that we can afford to pay it. Sometimes you have to count your blessings. Jim is so right and I thank God Jim is such a godly man. Keep praying and watching for good deals.

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    1. Dear Denise,
      Yes I do agree, we need to go step by step and day by day. Jim sounds like a wonderful man. When I see the prices I am grateful we can afford to keep going but it really hits me how families with a few kids must not be able to manage these prices. Watching for deals and opportunities is really important now! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  12. That calf is sooooo cute! Thank you for sharing his pic. And I love the way your rock garden is coming together. I live in a townhome, so I have little opportunity to garden, other than my deck rail boxes and planters that sit on my deck. No in-ground planting allowed, especially not fruits and vegetables. I have a question about your soup mix that is linked in your post. For the cornstarch, is that 3/4 cup? And how much does the recipe make?

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    1. Dear Lori, Yes it is 3/4 cup... and a recipe makes enough to replace quite a few packets of soup mix. I use about 1/3 cup to equal one packet. Later I taste my recipe to see if I am happy. It is amazing what you can grow in pots. I used to stack one pot on top of another like a tower... I could grow so much this way. Now you can get the tower planters ie the Greenstalk... and really grow an amazing amount of food. In a townhouse this is what I would do although I view rules about what a person can grow and what animals you can keep etc as just dreadful. But we have to find ways going forward and there is always a way. Just do what you can. With much love Annabel.xxx

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  13. Oh congratulations Laffie!! πŸ‘ Did she have a boy or a girl, I couldn’t see in the photo.

    You sound so busy!! I feel your anxiety. Action is the antidote, and while it’s good to stay informed, sometimes you simply need to take a news and social media break, well at least I do, it resets my soul πŸ˜ŠπŸ¦πŸ™

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Laffie has a baby boy! We had some major adventures with them both this week but all is well. Yes I agree... the garden, the animals and being productive help me a lot. This week the weather has been beautiful and most of my time outside. I hope your week is going well! With love Annabel.xxx

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  14. Dear Annabel
    What a lovely homecoming present to have two bonny calves!
    The rocks do give a great level of focal attention to the garden and you’ll find you can grow different things on the sheltered side that may have found exposure to the elements too much.

    Regarding the bin fire, it’s impossible to unsee the connected dots once you notice them. Then you see them everywhere! There are those who are throwing on the fuel as quick as they can. Let’s hope they completely trip themselves over in the process and brought to answer for their actions.
    Strength to all of us!
    Love
    Kate

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    1. Dear Kate, Yes the rocks will provide protection, shade, also conserve water in the soil. We finished the rock placements... except for possibly finding smaller rocks I cant resist! Indeed the same names come up over and over with their fingers in every pie.... I am confident they will go down in history as very evil. "A lie has a short life but the truth lives on forever" reassures me and we know truth does always win. (in the end!) I watched the Elvis movie and saw that Elvis shot the TV which made me think he was ahead of his time! haha! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Lovely Annabel, Laffie is just gorgeous as is her baby. She seems to have the sweetest nature. I’m sure it’s being raised on your love and attention and Milk Arrowroot biscuits. They are a fine looking pair.
    Andy’s wood chopping and collecting solution is very clever and time saving for sure. Your tractor is worth it’s weight in gold.
    Those rocks look fantastic in the garden and create a whole new microclimate for your plants. Another use for your trusty tractor. Andy is doing a terrific job on it all.
    I feel so much for you Annabel. You give so much of yourself to everyone and work so hard each day and the way the world’s going it weighs heavily on all of us who love and want to protect and help our family and friends. Please take time to be kind to yourself or you will burn out and become ill. Thankyou for all you do to keep us informed on what is happening in the world, with all you impart and the wonderful,
    informative reports from our fellow Bluebirds here at home and around the world. You are a blessing to us all Annabel. Xxx

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    1. Dear Lorraine, Thank you so much for your kind words. I am taking a very quiet Sunday and planning my April. I love what you said about Laffie being raised on love and Milk Arrowroot biscuits! Basically true!
      Andy and the tractor have turned out to be a dynamic duo! They are getting heaps and heaps done!
      Have a wonderful new week and thank you, with lots of love Annabel.xxx

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  16. As a city girl with very little access to large mammals, I have to say that that cow tongue was much of a shock. I know in my brain that cows are big but wow. What do you use the agave plants for? Is it the same as the sweetener? I also like to go and stock up on canned food and then spend a happy day, rotating and dusting and just getting in touch with my pantry. It's coming up on summer here in the US and Husband opened the last jar of O'henry peaches. We had a moment of silence as they are our favorite and won't be back on the trees until July. There are other peaches sure but they aren't o'henry's. Husband has promised to help can the peaches and other foods.

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    1. Dear Maria, Yes you know all about it if you are liked by a cow! For me the Agaves are just large and spectacular in my rock garden. I hope you find more of the favourite peaches! A helper when canning is great, you can get so much more done! I have pears and apples to work on but I just love peaches too. With love Annabel.xxx

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  17. I hope your appointment went well this week, Annabel, I prayed for you. Thank you for this happy little respite you provide online. I look forward to all of your posts.

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    1. Dianna, Thank you so much for your prayers. I really appreciate them and yes it went really well. Thank you for your kind words also! With love Annabel.xxx

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  18. Dear Annabel, I love your animal photos. The calf is so cute. I also love your rock garden. I love rocks! Lol we have rocks along our front garden bed. I used to love finding rocks and shells when I was a little girl. I love how you stocked up on corn! With your great help- I stocked up on 5 bottles of shampoo (clearance at $3 each) 3 bamboo kids toothbrushes (clearance $1 each), 4 packets of 8 soap for $2.30 each and 2 lots of 1 litre olive oil half price and one box of laundry powder. Thank you so much! I will be sure to pass this on. I love what GardenPat said. This stocking up taught me a lot. There are some things that would spoil in our climate, but there are so many things that we can stock up on and this will make a huge difference. We can still find some good deals, but we must know our prices and take every opportunity. I can’t believe how much fun I had. This has become my new retail therapy. Thank you so much. Today I will fill beds with as much organic matter from our yard that we can find. I also found second hand roller skates, I’m hoping my clever DH can fix them up for a special someone’s birthday. Lots of love, Lily

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    1. Dear Lily, Oh wow you did great with your stocking up and saved a lot of money! I like to work out how much I saved on these purchases as it can be staggering! The savings are amazing shopping this way. In my case the corn was not a saving but I got something for my shelves that I was looking for. Usually I am buying big on deals! Many things Lily that I find are in cheap shops and not in supermarkets. Here often chemists/pharmacys have on special laundry detergent, the things you got at prices so much better than the supermarket! Supermarkets are often not the cheapest at all! I find this especially with fruit and veggies! Things like toothbrushes and smaller supplies are very good for bartering if ever needed! I can just feel how much fun you had and I totally understand it! The more I pray before shopping the more I am amazed too. I agree 100% with GardenPat that much opportunity involves work... it can be peeling a hundred apples haha like me now or it might be lots of hauling and stacking your shelves but it is fun and it is so worth it! I am just very happy you did so well!
      The skates were a good find! I bet they will be like new once you are done with them! With love Annabel.xxx

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  19. Do the next thing... A long discussion with our daughter last week. They will continue to live with us for at least this year. She needs to get her financials in order and the rents around about our area need to drop. It is so high just now that it is literally cheaper to pay mortgage payments than to rent! This led us to determine that we'd stop postponing our plans to remodel our kitchen and baths. We'll be talking to the contractor this next week and see how his schedule is and have an estimate of what he expects it to cost. We already know what the cost of fixtures will be as we went to look at things this past weekend and we know exactly what we need to do what we want to do. Nothing fancy, just a nice basic plan.

    In the meantime, my son announced that he must now drive to his office twice weekly starting this summer. So I will be keeping my three other grandchildren at least once a week if not twice.

    I decided to see what I could produce from my kitchen these past two weeks: four pints jelly, 1 quart of breadcrumbs, 6 quarts of broth, enough meat from the frames to make soup (using 2 quarts broth), french toast (eggy toasts) from dry bread pieces, 2 pints applesauce. This has excited me and made me wonder what I might 'produce' this next week.

    In the face of all these unexpected life occurrences, we are just going to go on and do the next thing we can do and the things we can't will wait.

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    1. Dear Terri, It must be very similar here re the rental vs buying. I think you would find information here on this subject that is VERY enlightening... you tube... The Poplar Report. 3 Massive Shifts in the next 6 months. What he describes is happening here also. He is spot on.
      You are doing so much to help your family. You are making a big difference!
      Great work on producing so much in the kitchen! Yes we just have to keep doing the next thing! With love Annabel.xxx

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  20. What a great haul from your trip Annabel! The rock garden is looking lovely. And what a treat to come home to calves. I hope the dentist went well.

    I had a mainly at-home week due to recovering from an infection. It is the last week of term coming up, I am so looking forward to having everyone home for a couple of weeks. And I just love Easter!!

    I found a copy of the $21 challenge book at the op shop, I have wanted this for years but it has been out of print. There are so many good basic recipes as well as several pages of ideas for substituting ingredients.

    Although I didn’t have much energy this week I did get lots of planning done in terms of jobs I want to do while the weather is still good, and some household maintenance jobs that can be done for free.

    I hope you have a good week, and a lovely Easter.

    Jen (NZ)

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    1. Dear Jen, I hope you are over your infection and feeling heaps better! That book is good. We can modify it a bit now ie have a week with a $50 budget and use up things that need using or whatever... but even one week like this really helps. Substitutes are fantastic. So many things we can avoid buying altogether! I know you will enjoy the holidays. Here there is one week of school after Easter then two weeks of holidays. The girls are coming here for a few days. I am looking forward to this! Also the kids need the break. I think they need a rest and to be able to be schedule free sometimes. (so do we!). With much love Annabel.xxx

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