Feather your Nest Friday, 30th June, 2023.

What a week!  I like having lots to report.  We have arrived at the end of June and mid year.   I continued on with where I left off last week as I still had Parsley to preserve as fast as possible.   As the week went on I kept the freeze drier going.  There were Zucchini to work through which filled two trays.  When I have trays to spare I fill them with a frozen veggie as this creates freezer space and gives a 20 year shelf life!   

The hens are still laying.  I am amazed!  I think all the greens they are eating is helping.  So each day I have collected about eight eggs.   It is not like in the warmer weather when I might get 20 or more a day but it is still good.

I was thinking about how cheaply you can keep a few chickens.  If you have any garden and you cook,  maybe kids who come home with crusts in their lunch box...  every trimming,  scrap, peel, weed, seed... even left over milk or yoghurt...  it is all chicken feed.   I am amazed how many scraps I save up in an average day.   With also the hens free ranging at least a few hours a day I do not need to feed them very much more.  I would like to actually calculate this a bit more specifically but I am thinking they get about a cup of grain each per day.  Also I think in winter when it rains it brings out more bugs and worms which is the protein they need and they prefer protein over seed any day! 

I filled eight trays of Parsley or two full loads in the freeze drier overall... (some at the end of last week and some on the weekend.)

The strange thing to me is that when you pop something freeze dried into your cooking... it instantly is fresh again.  So where dehydrated Parsley would still be good, freeze dried is fresh again instantly when it hits moisture so it looks and behaves the same as fresh produce.   I really am amazed by this!    The colour of the preserving is also lovely so is the scent.

I sat aside a jar each for the girls and packed some up into a sealed food bag to post to a friend.

We had more rain and finished the month with a total of 5.4 inches.  This is awesome for us!  Water is everywhere!  

Tom is very happy about this.  

Doris is to the point of if I turn my head looking elsewhere when I look out my window she is standing there... patiently... waiting for an apple.  

One night we had a storm and it just poured.  It was the middle of the night, pitch dark and over the wind and rain I could hear a cow bellowing.  I knew something was wrong.   Andy headed out early to see what was was up.     Laffie had jumped the fence and was on the wrong side and her calf was on the right side with everybody else.   To look at Laffie she is a fat huge cow and you would not think she could get any part of herself off the ground.  She identifies, though,  as a Gazelle.    To get her back in the gate would normally be simple but now the gate is about a foot underwater and the mud is deep and boggy.    Andy got the tractor,  made it to the gate and then drove Laffie back to her calf,  who was hungry!   So thankful Andy did this as things were so wet and cold and I had heard the bellowing half the night but Andy slept through that part.  

On the coldest and wettest days I did some baking.

I made a few dozen sausage rolls,  honey gingerbread biscuits...

With left over pastry I made cheats Danish pastries.   I just used jam in the middle.

Chloe had inspired these.   I googled easy ways to fold pastries.

Mum gave me a giant frozen turkey breast.  Since it is the weather for a roast I thawed it and made up trays of vegetables.   I had a cauliflower so made cauliflower cheese.

A tray of potatoes.

Carrots, peas and cranberry sauce and gravy.   We had a roast dinner then I used my biggest baking dish and plated up some of each to deliver to Chloe for her family.   I did another single roast meal for a friend out ours who lives alone and another meal for tonight.   I do often freeze these meals as I still feel that a roast dinner is one of the most comforting meals.   They freeze and re heat so well.

There were still leftovers which got used in other ways.

The only start I made on the citrus was to drink an orange or lemon juice everyday with my water and to make a batch of Lemon Butter.

Fresh oranges and lemons really are like sunshine in winter!

The left over lemon peels:
Some went through the dish washer with bi carb soda for a clean.
Some went into a jar with Miracle cleaner and water to make dusting wipes...

Some went into a container of water which I boiled in the microwave and then wiped the microwave out. 
One went into the kettle which I boiled and descaled the kettle.  

Finally,  I finished my silk pillowcases.   I am really pleased with them as I think they make a luxurious and personal gift.  Well,   I hope so.   There are two set aside to keep myself as I do really love the feel of them.   Next week it will be time to start a new sewing project.  

So it was a busy week and I am wanting a quieter weekend and to think over some goals for July!  

How did you build up your home, get ahead and make hay while the sun shines this week?


  1. Dear Annabel
    The shades that you have dyed the pillowcases are beautiful both the pink and the blue!
    Tom and his tractor had my DH jealous of all the fun a little boy could have on a farm with a toy that good and lots of water to drive it through 😆

    1. Dear Kate, Thank you! My experience is boys just move up to bigger machinery and call it work but still are digging up and driving through puddles! I would be very surprised if Tom doesn't grow up driving real tractors. He is obsessed! More rain coming in the new week by the looks! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. You’ve been SO busy!! I’ve been working in little dribs and drabs! I remember when you were painting your house in the city years ago, a bit at a time. That’s what I’ve been doing this week- painting the outside trim around our windows. To be honest, I’m only painting the first floor and basement trim that I can reach with a step ladder. The rest will be done by a painting company. But I will have done 17 of the 43 windows, so that will save us a bit of the cost of hiring someone else to do it.

    Dave has now cut to size and placed all the odd shaped edge bricks in our walkways, so that’s another job ticked off!

    I found cherries on sale for $2.49/pound ($5.49/K) so I figured out how many pounds I would need to make 2 batches (12 half pints) of chocolate cherry jam. I bought about 10 pounds (5 bags) to give us a pound to eat fresh! My first batch made 8 half pints rather than 6 and used up the first of the 5 bags of cherries! 😱. So now, I will make another batch of 8 jars and with the remaining 3 bags, I’ll can some cherry vanilla jam. Tasty mistake in calculating! Lol!

    I also found BL chicken breast on holiday sale for $1.39/pound in 10 pound bags, so I bought some for myself to can up (actually, I will thaw out chicken breast from freezer and use that to can and freeze the new chicken to rotate things in freezer!)

    I’m picking peas, broccoli, lettuce, kale, garlic and onions from garden. My tree fruits and berries are getting closer to harvest.
    Gave another baby quilt from my gift cupboard to another new baby this week! That’s 2 in one week!! Certainly grateful for that gift cupboard!!

    We still have to limit our time outdoors right now because of the smoke haze in the air coming all the way from Canadian fires!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Gardenpat, you have been so busy. Well done on all that painting- it will save lots of money too. I love the sound of the cherries- and chocolate cherry jam, delicious! lots of love, Lily

    2. Dear Gardenpat, Well done!! My arm remembers the painting well! I also would draw the line about going up so high. I had a bad fall off a ladder a few years before that house. I wont describe that. I stopped going up high ladders though.
      Dave has done so much amazing work and landscaping in the garden! Your garden is producing so well and the strawberries sound amazing. The smoke... I already know a couple of people who have been very sick from the smoke... one in NC. So do your best to not breathe too much of that. This is going on and on. We have lived through bad fires and cases of smoke coming long distance, even over the sea to get to us yet it being so thick we thought it must be from near by! And it stank too! Have a good and restful weekend! With love Annabel.

  3. Dear Annabelle,
    You had a very productive and busy week. Hopefully, Laffie won't do that again. That had to be frightening for her. Your cows are such wonderful loves.
    We still, and will for a while, have the house upside down as we are eliminating so much. We have been preppers for decades and have back-ups for most everything. It has gotten to be too much to take care of and maintain. We are both slower and not doing as good as we wish we could.
    I am doing some experiments with soaked flour to see if it alters anything for me in eating Einkorn. Time will tell.
    Food prep, sadly, has slowed down here. I need to cut back Tarragon, Oregano, Lovage and Chives desperately. That was on today's list, but I barely moved and pulled a muscle in my back yesterday 🙄. I can hardly move let alone go out and cut herbs. They are flowering as my health has not allowed me to be on top of them this year; very frustrating, for sure.
    I need to get focused back on food for our family. We have eight people, plus those who are in need, to think about and care for should something bad happen.
    With love,

    1. Take it easy, Glenda and your knowledge and past prepping will pay off. Go slowly and go easy on yourself and then you might feel able to do things in small increments. Lots of love, Lily

    2. Thank you Lily, for your thoughtful comment. Your advice is wise.
      Love, Glenda

    3. Glenda, have you ever tried the autoimmune protocol? If not, it's basically a food plan for those with all manner of autoimmune issues. It has made a tremendous difference in my life, as it relates to mobility, pain, sleep, digestion, brain fog, and so many other things. Cookie

    4. Dear Glenda, So sorry about your back. I wish I was near I would pick and freeze dry those beautiful herbs for you. I hope you can rest and get your back right again. That is the main thing. Thank you for your kind comment as always! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Aunt Diane from Streator30 June 2023 at 06:04

    Thank you for publishing this blog. I really enjoy reading about your family and beautiful home. You inspire me!

    1. Thanks so much Aunt Diane!xxx

  5. Tom on his little tractor and the mud puddles made me smile! And oh I am so glad you did not have to go out in the storm for the cow rescue!

    We did a big reorganization and look at our big freezer and knowing what is in there saves money by knowing what needs to be used and what we have too much of. , too. There were three nice beef roasts so a roast dinner is on my radar now, too. Our container vegetable garden is coming along nicely and I have high hopes of a good harvest.

    1. Dear Lana, Knowing what is in the freezer is great and so are beef roasts! The veggies doing well is good news! I am loving how container gardening produces so much, I am hooked! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. Your pillowcases are really lovely especially because you dyed the silk yourself. What a meaningful and useful gift. I always enjoy your cow stories. You definitely have a way with animals! Poor Laffie.What a predicament she got herself into. Hope your husband doesn't have to rescue her again any time soon. We're just starting summer here (New York State) so no roast meals for us, but I am drying parsley for winter and to share. Why buy it when it is so easy to grow & dry yourself? I usually let the butterflies have it, but this year I protected some instead
    Just a piece of old screening laid on top of it did the trick. I am low-tech. God bless you and your family. Dee/NY

    1. Thank you Dee! It is lovely to have parsley, fresh and dried and to be able to share some. We are working on reinforcing the fence where Laffie probably went over and hopefully that will put an end to the break outs! xxx

  7. Hi Annabel, you have completed another wonderfully productive week. The happiness on Tom's little face put a big smile on mine. Spencer has a car that he loves to drive around the back yard in. He needs a tractor like Tom. The pillow cases look so Luxe.
    I spent three full days this week with Katie and the little boys. Whilst everyone is well again, poor Katie is absolutely exhausted. Yesterday Spencer had gone to work with Dad, so it was just Katie, baby Toby and I. I sent Katie off to have a hot shower, wash her hair and then to have a lie down. Toby had had a good feed before his Mum headed off. He had a sleep at the same time as his Mum, and I had a good rest on the couch. Katie and the baby woke at much the same time. Katie looked so much better for her rest.
    I know I have had a busy week but just cant recall what it is that I have been doing. There has been watering, gardening, baking, sewing, cleaning and crocheting happening. I did make two crochet hook rolls for the gift cupboard. I made a thread catcher for the embroidery machine.
    I need to head off and get some sourdough pancake batter made up. It can start to ferment and get all nice and bubbly. Katie and the boys are spending the morning here. I will get the pancakes, Granny Cakes, as Spencer calls them, made up for a snack. I think I will also get a batch of scones made up for the rest of us.
    Life is busy good.

    1. Dear Jane, Driving through puddles is apparently the best thing! A break for Katie is very helpful. Just time to wash your hair is bliss!
      I think the crochet hook rolls would make gorgeous gifts. Also actually the tread catchers would be too for any kind of needlework or sewing machine work. Endless hours are spent snipping ends and sewing hem in etc... so a thread catcher right next to you is perfect.
      Spencer knows he is in for Grannys cooking when he comes to your place. I think we both have Grandsons who are good eaters.
      I hope this week Katie is feeling a bit better and everyone is well. With love Annabel.xxx

  8. When my dear friend do you ever not have a busy week? But this one must have been flat chat. I can't wait until the freeze dried find us full and I can place that order. I spent the first part going top speed dehydrating celery, carrots and onions, making caramelized onions, packing, cooking, baking, cleaning out the fridge and using everything up before we left on Tuesday. Four very long days of driving resulted in 4 beanies, 4 tea cosies and 4 dishcloths. We finally make it to our destination today and we will be completely off grid for a week which I am looking forward to for the break from news and "instant" demands. I crave this down time every year to rest and get ready for the full steam ahead of the rest of the year. The work we do out here is so different to our normal that it is a holiday to us and we love it. So glad you had rain to give you some downtime too. The pic of Tom reminded me so much if our boys in their John Deere tractors and we even have photos of them on the tractors in the rain. Wonder if that's why they live them now 🙂 Cath xxxx

    1. Dear Cath, haha! You also are always on the go! I will LOVE when you have a freeze drier. We can tag team then. I love all methods of preserving but the long term storage factor with the freeze drier is just revolutionary. Right now you are no doubt off grid and I hope you are having a wonderful break. All the knitting on the trip was fantastic! Enjoy yourself and we will catch up when you get back! With love Annabel.xxx

  9. Morning Annabel and Bluebirds. It is sometime since I last commented but I have been reading along each week and continue to be inspired by all that each of you do.

    Annabel your pillowcases are absolutely gorgeous and I think will be loved by the recipients of them. Your freeze dried is just amazing and the filled jars are beautiful to see.

    We have been having a very damp winter so far but not especially cold. A home just around the corner from where I live have trees in blossom and I have daffodils up in my garden. Both of these are about two months early and shouldn't be happening. Our climate is definitely warming up. Today though is beautiful blue skies and sunshine, which after all the dull, gray days certainly makes you feel better.

    I was reading on our local news site that power costs are going to double in the next five years. I simply can't understand why this can be allowed to happen in a country that has so much hydro power produced. For residents on Stewart Island at the very bottom of NZ they were saying they could see increases of up to $1000 in the next year,per household. This is just so wrong. Once our house repairs are completed I will be looking at having solar panels installed. We are lucky that we will have this option but not everyone does.

    My winter garden is growing well and in about a month we should be able to start harvesting cabbages and broccoli. I have lettuce and herbs growing well and our lemon tree is producing plenty. I will make more lemon curd over the weekend, which I add to my home made yoghurt.

    I love the photo of wee Thomas on his tractor,a future farmer in the making. I wonder if Laffee thought the grass was greener over the fence. Just as well you heard her over the storm. Tractors certainly come in handy for many things on a farm.

    Stay safe and well everyone.

    Mandy (NZ)

    1. Dear Mandy, Your winter sounds like ours! Very damp. Also this last couple of days I also have Daffodils and Jonquils? if that is the right name. I got a surprise!
      Like you Aust has the resources... other people are allowed to use them but not us apparently. Yes it is wrong. We have been sold out I feel. You and I both know many wont cope with these rises. Many businesses wont either. If you can get solar that would be fantastic. Good to hear the winter greens are doing well, also so nice to have fresh lemons. I am so glad to hear from you! With much love Annabel.xxx

  10. Friday greetings from Sloth City! Happy 4th of July weekend to the USA readers.

    I actually had a pretty good week. In addition to the usual minimal housework (hey, I admit it!), I bought fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts for the unheard-of price of $1.47 pound and froze enough for 10 meals. I used my Zwilling vacuum food sealer to remove all of the air from the packages. I picked a dishpan full of Swiss chard and blanched and froze it. I will be able to do this again in a few days. Also, I bought a case of sweet cherries for $1.47 lb. and canned 12 quarts. Actually, I canned 13, but one of the jars broke in the canner. I hate that!

    I think my lettuce is going to bolt before it heads up, but we are enjoying salads made from the outer leaves.

    I fell in the house yesterday. Two of my fingers are black and blue and badly swollen. I went to an urgent care clinic this morning, had Xrays, and confirmed nothing is broken. Just a reminder to all of your readers, ESPECIALLY YOUR OLDER ONES, not to leave things in unusual places where they might trip on them. I was actually aware of this when I tripped on the cherry crate. I hadn't taken it to the garage the night before because I was barefoot and didn't want to go find my slippers.
    --Maxine from Sloth City, Idaho

    1. The doctor just called and told me he re-read the Xrays and one film shows a small hairline fracture next to the knuckle in the middle of my ring finger. He believes that it will heal on its own, but if it gives me trouble, he will send me to a hand specialist. Thankfully, it doesn't really hurt. Now this is another reminder--if a finger is ever injured, remove any ring that might be on it. I didn't think of this immediately, but soon enough to still get it off (with great difficulty and a lot of Windex). It is so swollen now that my wedding ring would have had to be cut off.

      Also, PS to Monday's Nana post--Between the two of us, my husband and I finally got the bathroom clean!! Another divide and conquer job.

    2. Dear Maxine, I hope your finger heals up well with no problems. Good reminder to always take rings off quickly before swelling! I will remember that.
      Also yes we should think of ourselves or others tripping and not leave stuff in the way. I have been known to fall over the vacuum cleaner!
      For my bathroom I have a steam cleaner that blasts it but it is no sooner done and it is time to do it again!
      Well done on canning the cherries and vac sealing the great priced chicken! Also the chard! You are not a sloth at all! With love Annabel.xxx

  11. Oh my goodness, Annabel, look at those silk pillowcases! They are beautiful. I also loved your jars of produce.....it is such a pretty picture. I had no idea freeze dried things lasted 20 years. That is fantastic. Do you have to do anything special to the jars to make that happen? I love your baking too. Tom is adorable! Seeing him out in the fields playing is the happiest picture. It is beautiful and makes me happy! DH has been home most of the week. He has done lots of lovely things, like make jars of pickles and he has spent time re-painting parts of his car, this saves money. He found some free trellises to support the tomatoes and they are flowering, which is lovely. I have been crocheting. I had edged a towel of a baby gift and that was delivered this week. The children have been working on their fishing skills and next week will learn some cooking skills. Lots of love, Lily

    1. Dear Lily, Mainly I just pop freeze dried stuff in jars as I am going to use it in the next couple of years. It is meant to give you 25 years if you remove the air and keep in a cool dark place. I have used Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers for the long term things. I think this is amazing!
      Your husband did some great things with his free time this week! Supports for the tomatoes will be great. Anything car related always seems expensive so that was a great saving!
      Fishing skills are wonderful to have. Cooking will be good also. Thanks for your kind comments about little Tom! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Oh Maxine! So sorry about your fall but thankfully no permanent damage. I know what you mean about leaving things where you might not expect them. I try to be vigilant about returning things to their proper place and keep the floors clear. My friend fell and broke her knee cap because someone didn't put away an item in her home.

    I went grocery shopping today. I bought $300 worth of groceries but only paid $130! Everything was sale or clearance. I bought a lot of meat to put in the freezer. I also got 2 bags of pistachios for Christmas gift baskets. Pistachios are usually very expensive but I got these for a great price. I got cherries for 99 cents per pound. This brings the total cherries purchased to 15 pounds. We will have cherries all next winter! I'm drying & freezing them.

    Tomorrow I will be out in my garden and in my kitchen prepping for for the week and storage.
    ~margaret in the midwest USA

    1. Dear Margaret,
      You did. lot of stocking up as wonderful prices! I just love cherries and that price is amazing. Your day in the garden sounds perfect. Have a great new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Annabel, so delightful to see your grandson enjoying himself in the puddles! Your pillow cases are all very lovely. I'm curious about the ribbon you used. Is it also silk? Your frozen food and parsley dried so well. Such fresh color!
    My children and I had a fun time picking cherries at my mother in law's. We picked 5 gallons! I froze most of them and still canned 8 pints of cherry pie filling. My 15 yr old daughter picked strawberries for a local farmer. And she was able bring home 6 gallons for free! This was over the course of several weeks. She brought home her last 2 gallons this past Tuesday. Whew! So I am swimming in fruit! Trying to get it all processed by tomorrow as we leave for vacation Sunday. Also I butchered 2 roosters and pressure cooked them. Enjoyed 5 quarts of broth from one. Harvesting lettuce and young turnips from the garden. My biggest savings is baking food for our trip. We will enjoy some restaurants but we would rather spend our time and money on experiences. Such as touring a WWII aircraft carrier turned museum.
    Also while I didn't save money, I did create a wonderful quilt for my sailor son who's Naval School we are visiting. A little piece of home for him to keep with him.
    Blessings to all,
    Leslie in Ohio
    Happy 4th, American bluebirds!

    1. Dear Leslie, The ribbons I dyed are seam binding which is just rayon... but it gives an antique crinkled effect which I think is lovely. Also if absorbs dye well.
      You are blessed with fruit! Cherries and strawberries, what could be better~!? Good job on the broth and baking for your trip. Taking some of your own food will save a lot.
      The quilt for your son is a beautiful gift and you must be so proud of him! Have a good time on your trip! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Dear Annabel
    Your pillow cases are so beautiful. How luxurious to lay your head on a silk pillowcase. The recipients will be so thrilled. The photo of Thomas is just delightful. And all of the cooking and baking looks so apppetizing.
    This week began high tourist season in our town due to the 4th of July holiday. Earlier this week we did what most locals do and that is stock up on groceries and stay home and away from the center of town until well after the 4th. On two lane roads traffic is at its worst and could take upwards to 40 minutes to go 2 miles.
    The 4th is also my husband's birthday and I will be making his favorite carrot cake with cream cheese icing for him.

    I roasted a turkey breast this week and was able to get dinner for that night plus 5 more meals for the freezer for us. Lamb chops were a pretty good deal and we stocked up on those as well. I bought a large butternut squash and cooked it and then divided it up into 4 servings for the freezer. In the garden we have been harvesting more arugula, zucchini, basil, radishes and chard and lettuce. I transplanted three crookneck squash plants to a container to give them more room. I had made some banana water fertilizer and used it to fertilize the container garden. I made two more pints of pesto with the harvested basil. We picked up the 30 pounds of blueberries that we ordered from the Kiwanis club and froze most of them for later use. The rest will be eaten fresh and used for muffins and lemon blueberry scones. In the craft room I continue to work on the folios that will hold handmade cards and stationary for the gift closet. We steam cleaned the upholstery on the dining room chairs. Happy 4th to the Bluebirds in the US. Have a blessed weekend all. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Happy Birthday to your husband for tomorrow and also Happy 4th of July! The traffic sounds crazy! Good job on getting in and out before that hits!
      We both cooked turkey and got lots of meals! The pesto and all you are harvesting sound beautiful. You had a busy week! I am doing things like the banana skin water because every free and natural fertiliser is a good idea, good for the garden and money saving! Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. My son brought over carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, eggplant and garlic. I immediately processed the carrot leaves into a substitute for parsley. I made the cucumbers into fridge pickles and chopped the peppers for the freezer. The rest will be used fresh in the days ahead. He also gifted us more of the produce and juice boxes, and breakfast items from the school lunch program. I went shopping and bought items on sale for our fourth of July holiday next week. This included ground beef (mince), condiments and sodas.

    I am still nursing along the little tomatoes and hoping I will get a harvest of ripe fruits. The eggplant have buds ready to bloom. Deadheading flowers has kept the coreopsis and pretty yellow wildflower reblooming far longer than I'd noted them doing in the past. I am gathering and scattering seeds in hopes that more will come up.

    1. Dear Terri, Your son is doing so well with his garden and its wonderful he shares it with you! Also good work on using the carrot tops! The bonus things from the lunch programme and produce boxes... I know you will put it to good use.
      I hope your tomatoes and eggplants do produce well. I say they will! The flowers sound lovely and if more will come up that would be amazing! You had a really good week! With love Annabel.xxx

  16. I love looking at your filled jars! Around here, people sell freeze-dried candy and fruit for $4 a bag on Facebook Marketplace. I also saw someone offering to freeze dry batches of food for people for $40 per batch. Industrious way to make a return on the investment of a freezer dryer! I would love to have one at some point, but for right now I'm making due with my dehydrator (which I got free, using points from Sam's Club). Your pictures of your grandson are just precious. He will have such wonderful memories of a beautiful childhood.
    We've been eating loads of zucchini and yellow squash. I'm thankful that we got so many this year because last year the insects ruined the plants before we got a harvest. This year we have eaten over a dozen of each, and the plants are still going strong. This week I put away 10 cups of shredded zucchini into the freezer for muffins, and made 2 dozen muffins (which I burned a little....ugh). The first squash bugs appeared yesterday and I dropped them into a water bucket. I'm hoping we can stay ahead of them for a little while longer. I have new plants growing now, so that any damaged ones can be replaced in a couple of weeks.
    We've eaten salads several times a week using lettuce from the containers I have on the deck. We've had such mild temperatures this summer that the lettuce is still growing great. Usually by now it's all burned up or bolted. The bonus of growing in containers is that we have no pests to deal with; the lettuce is virtually untouched by rabbits or insects.
    I dried a bunch of herbs to save for winter, and put some fresh herbs in the chicken run for them to enjoy. Weeding the garden is fun when I get to watch the chickens gobble up the gleanings. They are very grateful for my gardening efforts.
    We have a puppy who is wearing us out...she's about 4 months old and so intelligent. She needs a lot of mental stimulation. I found one of our older dog's treat balls in a cabinet, and have been filling it with puppy kibble to make the puppy "work" for her food. She loves it! She prefers it over the easy-access food in her bowl. I also pop in the odd scrap of meat or cheese to keep her interested. She looks forward to playing with her food, and I love the 10 minutes of peace. Ha! It's like having a toddler again.

    1. Dear Dianna, Camping foods and long term prepper foods are sold here and are really expensive! I am so glad I can do this now. Dehydrating is very valuable and I had my dehydrator running constantly. It is also very space saving! Shredded zucchini dehydrates brilliantly! I hope you can keep ahead of the Squash bugs too!
      Herbs are so good for the chickens! Your lettuce sounds fantastic and great you can keep on harvesting.
      Puppies are so gorgeous. And so smart. What you teach her now she will just catch on to everything! Yes I notice how our dogs are so much like little kids ie never tiring of the same thing over and over! Very funny.
      Hope your week is going well! With love Annabel.xxx

  17. Those pillow cases are just divine looking! I cannot imagine anyone who would not want to lay their head on them after a long day...sheer bliss! Your grandson playing in the puddles just warmed my heart. He just looks so happy to be able to be out there doing that. Little boys and puddles just seem to go hand in hand don't they. :)

    We are in the thick of cherry and raspberry harvest here in our back yard. My husband overdid it the other night trying to harvest the ripest cherries on our tall tree while standing at the top of a ladder reaching far above his head. He ended up in the emergency room in the early morning hours after doing so in severe pain in his chest and back, making it hard to breathe. Luckily it was not his heart, as he thought it might be, and was ruled out through medical tests, but rather muscular related. We have a dear neighbor who drove me over in her car while he was taken in the ambulance, and she stayed with me and later drove hubby and I home. Those bills are going to come rolling in for this soon and I am so very thankful for a well stocked pantry and freezers to get us through.

    1. Dear Debbie, It is a good thing your husband was checked out properly and it wasnt heart related. Thank goodness. Your neighbour sounds just lovely. So glad everything is ok!
      Cherries and Raspberries would be glorious to have! Your are right about the bills. Unexpected things just happen... and a stocked pantry is such a buffer when they do! With love Annabel.xxx


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