Feather your Nest Friday, 9th June, 2023.

We had a wonderful week with both loads of of rain overnight and sunny days.  

I've had the freeze drier running every day.   I am building quite a collection and variety of shelf stable (and long lasting) supplies.

I had a great trip into town.  I met Wendy and took her eggs.  (Interestingly there were no eggs in the supermarket or the entire town.)   She brought me beautiful flannelette fabrics and was courier for some fabrics I ordered from her friend.  She also gave me so much more, cotton and crystal!    Then I went to the two op shops in town and had so much luck!   I found gingham fabric,  4 big jars,  a heap of beautiful kids clothes, succulents  and more.

Talking to Wendy and her husband I learned something I did not know... that I can grow tomatoes all year round.   How did I miss this?   I have hundreds of tomato seedlings coming up everywhere which I thought is a shame as they can't succeed through winter.  But apparently if I shift them to frost free shelter they will both grow and fruit.   Mind blown!  I came home and began... I have a lot of Parsley coming up and also a few mystery seedlings that I am waiting to see what they are.   Every time I am in the garden I re home some tomatoes.   Also I am still picking fresh tomatoes so I guess this proves the point about them growing year round.  Thanks Wendy! 

A while back at one of these op shops I got a 14m roll of pure silk for $5.   Still recovering from that one!  I had been thinking over what to do with it.   In the gift shops silk pillowcases are a big thing and some are around $100 each!   They are promoted as good to keep your hair from being a birds nest by morning,  good to keep you from getting a wrinkle on your face from sleeping with your face pressed into the pillow and good for keeping your face moisturiser on your face instead of being absorbed by cotton.    Also they look and feel beautiful.  I decided to hand dye my silk in pale shades and make pillowcases for my gift cupboard.   And maybe one for myself!   I have dyed the silk in various shades of pinks and blues.  It looks amazing!  My favourite is a pale pearly pink milkshake colour.   By next week I hope I have some completed pillowcases to show. 

I sewed up more serviettes... I will keep going until I have sewn all that I cut out then make them into sets as gifts.   I am keeping a set of the bird ones.

In the supermarket I got a big bag of Bananas for $2.   They were turned into two big Banana cakes.

On marketplace I bought a tray of various succulents which was a great deal and got me some varities I don't have.   They are just lovely.

The cows are settling down and one of the previous lot of wild cows ate out of my hand for the first time.  I took Chloe and the boys out with me today for some fun.    The wild cows stood off to one side but didn't really run away.  I am wearing them down.    Also there is water laying across the flats now so I am going to have to be careful not to get bogged.   Tom hoped we would get bogged,  nothing could be better in his mind!

Because I am picking tomatoes and collecting eggs I made two Quiches.

These were delicious.  (Chloe got one of them.)

My big cook up was spaghetti sauce and I added a whole lot of chopped spinach into it.    I ended up with dinner,  some to freeze and three lasagnes. 

I love to replenish the ready meals freezer.    Also I love things that are ok as a meal all on their own if needed.  

So that was my week.   How did you build up your home, get ahead, save, add to your pantry or garden?  
I always say how little bits add up and consistency pays off.   Going out to check on the cows every day has taught me so much.   When crazy cow Doris ate out of my hand today this was a testimony to just keeping at it.   A year ago she was one nut job of a cow and now she ate an apple from my hand.  Consistency. Keep at it. xxx



  1. What a lovely week, Annabel! I'm excited to see your pillowcases! What a fabulous deal on the silk!

    Not much this week, I'm afraid. I did can up the last of my freezer pork and canned some baked beans. Lots of garden work, too.

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Thank you! Getting some canning and gardening is good! xxx

  2. Dear Annabel,

    as always, a joy to read and to see those beautiful pictures. And what a great week you had, with the boys being with you.

    My week was a nice one, with plenty of rain (thank God), guests over the weekend celebrating my husband*s birthday with an outdoor barbecue (he is the the master at cooking all kind of delicious meals), we played some board games with our teenager boy (which made me very happy) and made hay before the rain. It was so much I think I am settled for the winter.

    Harvested some strawberries, lettuce and more elderberry flowers - some went to the winter pantry. I have a few volunteer tomatoes plants too to keep on eye on them and I was given cherry tomatoes plants and planted in the container garden, I give to this nice lady some fresh eggs from my golden ladies. Also, some of the white pearly pullets laid two little-little eggs 7 days ago. Is it normal? They were hatched in December last yeaR.

    I started embroidering a precious memory of my Mother*s hands knitting - will add in the end the last piece she was knitting on the hospital bed - she had started a new jumper for my son, her only nephew that she loved very much. It was never finished and I just let it that way for all these years. Beautiful and painful work in progress for me.

    The new report on the ground:

    We are in the third (Third! ) week of general strike in education and all the schools in the country are closed. The teachers are asking for higher salaries, the goverment says no and the children suffer. Or not, as is a new unexpected holiday for some and a problem for the ones that have final exams or are accepted to universities abroad. It is the biggest / longest strike in our history (in education) and it is a big problem. Without proper teachers and proper education the future looks grey. And we can not see the ending of this strike....

    The other problem we are watching very closely is the big ecological and humanitarian disaster in Herson caused by the rupture of a major dam on the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine. On June 6, Ukrainian authorities announced that the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River was destroyed by Russian troops.
    The Kakhovka dam -- which was 30 meters tall and 3.2 kilometers long -- was part a vital route for transport and irrigation, as well as supplying water to Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, located some 150 kilometers to the northeast. The water levels that cools the plant had fallen dangerously last night and we know how dangerous this is because we have lived through Cernobil here, when I was 9 years old. I have in my wallet two iod medicine tablets for my son, in case of something happens.
    There are hundreds of thousands of people involved in this catastrophic flood, and the images are so very sad to watch. Maybe you have seen all these , so I stop. But there were thousands of hectares of agricultural land that now is under water - (so no food), there were personal mines on some charted teritorries that now are floating all over, carried by water, and more than half a million chemicals are running to the Black Sea on the Dnieper River.
    Everybody is very concerned about social, economic, and environmental impact from destruction of dam.

    We don*t know when all these will be all right again, as of yesterday the Ukrainian counteroffensive began.

    My report on the ground is not so pleasant, but my life is. I hope everybody will have a safe place at home or in the family, it is the most important when the world is scary.

    Sending lots of love from my world to all of you. Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura, thankyou for giving an on the ground report of all that is happening in your part of the world. I have seen some devastating footage on the TV. I am praying for everyone in that corner of the world. Also thankyou for your last paragraph - you are so positive and you amaze me with your calmness, thankyou for reminding us that even in very scary situations it is important to make our homes as much of a haven as possible. And as Annabel says keep at it. You are in my prayers. Clare

    2. Dear Laura, It sounds like your husbands birthday was a very happy occasion. Yes the first few eggs being tiny is normal. Sometimes you can get a random one like that as well. But they will become a normal size soon, the good thing is they are beginning to lay which is awesome! Also over time some of my older chooks lay the hugest eggs and I get quite a few double yolkers. I love that already you are finding ways to build up next winters pantry.
      I did not know anything about the teachers strike. While it is not the same we did see a lot of very negative effects of schools being closed down for long periods during covid. For those who were close to completion, important exams and so on it was devastating and I think it will be many years before we realise the complete effects of it. For your son... I will share that when I was 16 I got glandular fever very badly and I missed a whole term of school which was about 3 months back then. I continued a lot of studies at home and when I went back I was not behind. So any study your son can do will help.
      Thank you for your information on the war and the dam. I have tried to follow and understand that but I did not know that the water levels had gone down so much more over night. I cant really imagine what you have been through with nuclear disasters in the past and the threat of the future. I pray this does not happen. Because of the water flooding out of the dam I saw wheat prices world wide increase. We know Ukraine is a huge wheat producer. Thank you for your updates as you are close to this and know things the news would never tell us.
      You are doing all the right things Laura and approaching life with courage and hard work, being wise and thoughtful. With much love Annabel.xxx

    3. Thank you, Clare and Annabel, for all your kind words. With love, Laura

    4. Dear Laura,

      Thank you for sharing what is happening in your part of the world. It gives us important information that is not presented in my local news, at least. Praying for you and your family, and looking to your example to remain calm and do what I can do.


    5. Thank you Kathy very much. I am thinking of you often and praying for you and your husband, for health and well being. You are a person to admire for all you are doing.

  3. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    The freeze drier seems so useful, Annabel! What a great lot of preserving you did. Wonderful finds, too!

    I am still playing catch-up here with all of the doctor's visits and procedures for my husband (last one was on Tuesday!). He is starting to feel a bit better and stronger and began the new chemo regimen on Wednesday. There has been some progression and so we are praying the new medicines will shrink those tumors. Thank you everyone who is praying for him, it means so much to both of us.

    This week we had a local carpenter replace the rear exterior door and frame on our house (termite and then storm damage) and he did a beautiful job! Much nicer and well made than the big box contractors. He also did a few things to make it extra secure and safe.

    Laundry is finally caught up, grass is cut and edged, and I finished pulling all the weeds this week. I had a baking afternoon and made a big banana cake, three kinds of muffins, spaghetti sauce, and beef and noodles in the crockpot. Most of this went into the freezer to replenish ready meals and snacks, and some shared with my dad. Our first blackberries of the year were harvested and the garden is producing little squash! In waiting rooms, I knitted a bit on a pair of socks, and finished the stitching on 2 small Christmas pieces.

    These kinds of life events really highlight for me the importance of having a good pantry of various kinds - when there is simply no time or energy to shop for food or supplies or personal care items or pet food, or cook, or bake, it is a comfort and a huge help to have these things on hand. All of you ladies have helped me learn over the past few years how to build up my home, and it has been a lifesaver more than once!

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

    1. Kathy, I am glad your husband is feeling a little better, just wanted you to know I am praying for him too. Clare, Australia

    2. Dear Kathy, I am glad your husband has recovered a lot from such a scare. All your cooking, meals put away, all the ways you get ahead... are truly such a blessing when you have a hard week, a week of appointments etc. Now I hope you will get some easier weeks because I also know you work a job as well as all you do at home. You baked a lot of delicious things this week! I think you are a marvel to be able to catch up again so quickly! I enjoy seeing what you have made over on The Tuesday Afternoon Club. You make gorgeous things! Also your present cupboard must steadily be filling up!
      You both have a whole team praying now including me of course! Enjoy your weekend! With much love Annabel.xxx

    3. Dear Clare, Thank you for the kind words and especially for your prayers for my husband. We appreciate it and feel the love. <3 Kathy

      Dear Annabel, Thank you for the kind words and your encouragement, and most especially your prayers. We are thankful for all of you! <3 Kathy

  4. Amazing Annabel - everything looks amazing- the freeze dried jars, banana cake, op shop finds - all amazing.
    Not raining so much here now in Western Australia- we’ve had some very heavy downpours.
    I’ve just discovered wordle and quordle -great free word games and puzzles - new daily - good work out for the brain!

    1. Thank you so much! Puzzles are great for the brain. Learning or trying to figure out something new also. And I found out learning a new knitting or crochet patten too. So I try and learn new patterns (which does strain the brain lol) rather than do the same ones over and over. Its a good idea! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  5. Dear Annabel, what a productive, industrious week you had. So inspiring and such a great lesson to teach - just keep at it. The silk pillowcases sound great. It made me smile to hear Doris ate out of your hand. It is coincidental you discussing tomatoes for all seasons. I have in the last two days potted up ten little tomato seedlings coming up in the vegie patch and put them in an undercover area before they die by frost. I did this because last year I found 5 very straggly, sad looking teenaged tomato plants amongst grass and rubbish at times over the Winter. I couldn't bear discarding them so potted them up as I found them and put them among my flower pot plants on my front veranda. They did not grow much and never produced tomatoes during this time. I then planted them in my garden at the correct time for here, they still looked quite sad. I also took the lower leaves off as I put them in the garden, so they were even more stem-my, they all needed to be tied to supports straight away, I didn't hold much hope. Well fantastically they proved me wrong, and repaid my rescue efforts, they grew very big and produced hundreds of tomatoes for Free over Summer! I had purchased one tomato plant at Bunnings for $3 in case they didn't grow, but hope to never buy any again. All Summer I got huge bowlfuls every day, yellow, cherry, black cherries, tiny cherry toms. I loved roasting them up for any visitors we had. So satisfying. I may pot up a few extra today to give to anyone who would like one (I won't know which is going to produce which tomato/colour - this adds to surprise). I am now wondering after your post, if I could put them in a better spot to grow and produce through Winter. I have read about people having them grow inside their homes near windows. Fascinating. I love learning new things, thanks Annabel. Love Clare

    1. Just a little add on - of ideas you can't think why you didn't think them before..... last night I pruned back some of my lavender bushes. I filled a wheelbarrow with them. I put them near out outside fire pit to burn. This morning I thought, why can't I put some in the chook laying boxes and with the hay on their floor - which smells nice and may even help with bugs???? And also the Guinea pig and Rabbit might like some nice smelling bedding too. Clare

    2. Clare, your animals will likely eat the lavender, or try to, so introduce a bit at a time to see if they get sick. Rabbits especially can have strong opinions and reactions to lavender!

      -Elle W

    3. Dear Clare, I am thinking the lavender would be good for the hens... maybe good against mites... certainly making the animal bedding smell good!
      I dont know if you have any kind of greenhouse or veranda... but I think the tomatoes if moved to shelter might do the same as last year.... keep alive until Spring then take off and produce masses! Also it is great you get a colourful variety. We have rain today but if I get a sunny break I will be back out moving more seedlings. The more I look the more I find! I have the little greenhouse... I will try some in there and some where we have a partially glassed in back veranda. I am watching other seedlings that I am not sure what they are, sometime it will become obvious. It is so worth saving them! Have a lovely weekend and thank you for telling me about your tomato success! With much love Annabel.xxx

    4. Thankyou Annabel and thankyou Elle W I did not know that - I will wait with the rabbit Clare

  6. Hi Annabel, Your apple and wild cow story made me think of my Mother, who was the one they called whenever there was a runaway animal to recover! You just have a natural gift!
    Our youngest just moved nearby and it’s so good to see more if her. She cleaned our gutters today, and we gave her a gift basket of succulents and a fig leaf fern and a basil seedling! I planted my surprise seedlings. Finally saw picture and they’re Orange Blossom jasmine. 12 seedlings plus I pruned our bush and planted 15 cuttings!
    You are such a crafter! Me, too! Love it! Also food! Did 2 pints of pickled carrots. A big pot of goulash ( freezes great!), and 4 dishes if fruit with sugar free jello!
    Have a lovely week and thanks for everything!
    Rick from Florida (and M/L Donna in Indiana!

  7. My son gave me more of his bounty from school breakfast/lunch program. This week included carrots and broccoli as well as juice, more dried fruits, chips, all sorts of frozen single serve items. I was most pleased with the carrots and broccoli. I made all meals at home, repotted a compost volunteer tomato, planted more herbs and bulbs and such that I had sitting around. I pruned back the rosemary bush hard. I continue to make nearly all meals here at home from scratch. Was much amused a moment ago by conversation between daughter and granddaughter. She wanted something to eat and her mother said, "Gramma has to MAKE things to eat, she doesn't just keep things that you can snack on." Not quite true, but close enough.

    1. LOL, Terri! It's kind of like "how do you cook anything here? All you've got is INGREDIENTS!"

      I don't usually comment because I accomplish so little compared to the rest of you! However, this week I bought 10 lbs. of 80/20 ground beef for $2.99 lb. I used 3 lbs. and made two meatloaves for the freezer and froze the rest as patties and 1/2 lb. packages (the amount I usually use for a meal for 2-3 people). I also bought 3 lbs. of bacon for $9.99 to freeze and made a double batch of macaroni and cheese. I divided it into 3 pans, cooked and ate one and froze the other two. I am trying to rebuild my stock of ready meals.

      A couple of months ago, I bought a Zyliss vacuum sealer. This is a handheld gizmo that sucks the air out of special reusable ziploc-type freezer bags (would not work with regular ziploc bags). I resisted buying a food saver machine for years because I thought it would be too much trouble. This one's even fun, LOL!

      Happy to report that my garden is doing well. I thinned the Swiss chard today and replanted the biggest thinnings. Also, the dwarf apple tree set fruit for the first time in 5 years!

    2. Oops, the above is from me: mikemax, aka Maxine in northern Idaho USA

  8. Those succulents are just gorgeous! What a treat. I have not thought of looking for succulents on facebook, but will need to do that. I'm not good at indoor plants other than that type.


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