Feather your Nest Friday, 21st July, 2023.

Hi to everyone!   I am sorry I didn't manage a Monday post this week.  I had the girls come to stay and we did a lot of good things but the blog post wasn't one of them!  

As usual I planned activities and got set up before the girls arrived.   We were blessed with mostly sunshine so there was plenty of time outside as well. 

Harper continued on wth her sewing.   This project was to make a pillow with two beautiful panels Jane sent especially.   I found a cushion to fit exactly.    Nana Pat came over and helped.

Harper was really proud of the result.   

Scarlett is still not keen, but she is two years younger.  Soon I will get her on straight lines then I think she will take off.

One of our activities was making farms from the lids of two big boxes.   I saved these lids as they are useful as food trays,  play trays...

I purchased squares of fake grass and a set (for each)  of farms with animals and tractors.   Farmy magazines and advertising material comes in our mail bag... I save all these so we had pictures of sheep, cows, yards, tanks, machinery,  silos and other good stuff.   I gave them the brief which was to create a complete farm for Sidney and Thomas.   We went outside and collected sticks, rocks, pebbles, twigs and leaves, gum nuts... and so on.  

I sat and did some cutting out with them but they worked on them for hours and were very serious about it.   I told them how Grandpa Tom (my Dad) did not have toys when he was little so he used sticks to make yards,  walnut shells for sheep and knuckle bones for cows.   This was he could move around his stock in the yards just as he was planning for when he grew up!

They turned out really beautifully.   They had ponds for ducks,  twigs for logs, gum trees...

Finally we were ready and the first one was delivered to Tom.  

Tom declared "I like it!" and was straight in arranging his tractors.

Sidney was straight into it too, I couldn't even get him to look up,  he was too busy.

So they were a great success.  Chloe said Tom had to have his farm sit next to him while he ate dinner.  😊

Because Nana Pat came I had the girls set the table for afternoon tea.  They picked "flowers" and had the table as they wanted.   I also taught them to package up the left over gluten free items we had for Nana into a container so she would take them home.   They really seemed to enjoy this.

After taking the girls home I made two stops and the way back.    One was to pick road side Proteas.

The other one was to pick road side Rosemary.  I got some to go with a lamb roast and some with root systems.  (Shown at top of page.)  This caused me to get home in the dark! 

I made a heat pack for our friend as he has a sore back and got a chill.  Now he has a hot pack which should help.  I made more cleaning cloths...  and the Rosemary was potted up.

I was thrilled to be given three pumpkins,  two Pelargoniums and two Daisy bushes.   I got the plants into the garden and tomorrow the pumpkins are being roasted for soup.  Well, two are... I think the third will be used with other meals.

I planted the bean seeds that Fiona sent me.   We had rain so they were rained in to get them started. 

The tomato plants Wendy and Ian gave me had grown so I got them into a much larger pot with really good compost. 

I repaired a hole in a beautiful blanket Mum made me.

My stock up item this week was pens and masking tape. 

I sewed two more pot holders and two more kitchen towels. 

So that was my week!  How did you build up your home,  garden or pantry?  I am thinking so much about "building up".   Building up the kids,  building up immunity,  fitness,  knowledge,  the pantry, garden, gift cupboard.   It truly is just amazing how keeping at things adds up.   We cannot build up all the time but we can make hay while the sun shines!   I hope the sun was shining on you.xxx


  1. Oh my, a busy and productive week. I really enjoyed seeing just how talented the kids are in honing their craft skills and imagination. The pillow and farm are phenomenal. I don’t sew but what a neat and inexpensive way to build a farm. This gave me ideas as to when my grandchildren are visiting.

    Enjoy the weekend.

    1. Dear Nadege, Thank you so much! Kids are just so eager to learn and do it is such a great opportunity to teach them things. I am so glad I gave you an idea you can use! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Before you said that this was your week, I thought you did all of that in a day! I was getting exhausted just reading about it! :) I had my girls yesterday (every Thursday) and I taught them to sew by hand. They were so thrilled! This week I have spent purging, instead of building. I've given away at least 40 books and used my old magazines for making journals (see it on my blog). I also used a jar of beans I previously cooked and then froze. They were as tasty as the first day I made them. That felt good to use up something. So I guess you could say my week was about using things up and passing them on. I absolutely love the farm project you did with the kids. I'll keep that one in mind :). Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Debbie, It is great you have your girls every Thursday! Teaching them to sew is just great. I am thinking they would also love to make journals or scrap books... magazines are great for those. A fairy garden in a box would be another possibility. Thank you so much! With love Annabel.xxx

    2. Hi Debbie,
      I wonder if you’d share the name of your blog?
      I’d love to go have a look.
      Best wishes,
      Lorraine Wilby. 💁‍♀️

  3. Dear Annabel
    I think you can say you’ve been building up happy memories for you and the grandchildren to think fondly of in many years to come.
    Sweet Tom and Sidney remind me of my son at the same age, not being interested in coming to the table for Christmas lunch because he was too engrossed in building his new little Lego sets. Building up memories of good and happy times is always valuable effort, it’s never wasted, it shows children love, kindness and fun in action. 💕

    1. Dear Kate, Thank you! I think Lego is just fantastic for kids. It is good to see them concentrating and working on something. I love that. I agree... the time you spend with kids tells them more than just about anything else! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. Oh my the kids are getting so big ;). And they are so cute/good looking. I marveled at the idea you had of making farms in boxes, then giving them to the smaller ones to play with, great idea! Both sets of kids benefited. Here in my world, having moved into my town house two months ago I have been deciding on renovations (floors, paint etc), and am almost decided on the plan. So this fall will be full of turmoil as the work gets done but I trust the end of the year will see the end of it. Then I can assess my pantry situation. My prior pantry (husband passed away last December) was keyed to the two of us…when I moved I gave away to my local food bank 80% of the items (and 100% of the frozen food) since I didn’t have a way to store it plus my eating patterns are very different now. So I will reassess in a few months. Love your blog! Thank you for all the time you spent, hilogene in Az.

    1. Dear Hilogene, Thank you so much! You have made such a big change toward a new life. It will be great to get the house as you want it. If you use/need flour or pasta get these! Have a wonderful weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Beautiful, beautiful children! Congratulation to Harper for the pillow case. She looks like a Sewing Machine Fairy!. And I still think Scarlet looks very French Chic with her hair style.
    You had a GREAT idea with the farms. Both joy for the girls and the boys, but first of all, you made gold out of scratch (it is a Hungarian saying, meaning good use up of small things). You made golden memories for all your family.....

    We had a very hot week so I did less things, I was already drained of energy after the eight hours at work. I am using my bike everyday now and it is such a pleasure for me, my colleagues say I am smiling while on the road. They don*t know I am singing, too......
    I took advantage of the hot weather and deep cleaned the beds and beddings, did some cleaning of the house and looked after the garden in the evening - some look excellent, (like the tomatoes, garlic, zuchinis, chilli pepers, cucumbers, sun flowers, different herbs and all the flowers), some not so good, (like the onions, corn, potatoes and beans) so I am looking for others sources to get them.

    Thank you for your advice re. my chickens - their court and coop is under some trees in the orchard - I use to say you enter here like in a green and gold cathedral. It is high and covered completely with high branches (the idea was to give them protection from predators from the air), they have many dust/dirt baths around, green fresh grass and fresh water and they get everyday either cold watermelon or frozen treats (I chop up different vegetables and fruits, throw them in the fridge over night and give them in the morning, before I go to work). They seem ok with the heat and follow me everywhere when I let them out. Like Snow White, says my husband!

    You are right with the wheat and corn from Ukraine/Russia. The Black Sea was already a hot spot on the map - from now on I think it will be hotter - there are so many military around there already and so many threats.

    LOVED your post! Thank you.
    Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura, I am going to adopt this saying "gold out of scratch" as it sums up many things about homemaking and gardening!
      Your plants that are doing so well sound very good, I think you will still get some harvest from the ones you think are not going as well. Either way you have good harvests coming! We all have to plant more than we think because there are always some winners and some fails or other disasters such as something eating them!
      The shade of your tree just sounds perfect over the chicken coop. What a good yard and set up you have! These things are a great advantage!
      I saw now more on the Black Sea and Odesa. It has already affected wheat prices in Australia. This is the thing... a supply chain break down in one place has a domino effect. I know you keep a good pantry, keep up the flour and pasta supplies!
      Thank you for your kind comments! I hope you have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  6. What a wonderful Nana you are. Such a blessing to those sweet kiddos. I am sure those memories will always be with them. As a mama of young kids I am taking notes of how to grandparent some day. Thank you for sharing how you do what you do!
    The girls are getting so big and are lovely. I have been reading since before they were born!
    The rosemary and Proteas were so nice. The flowers look very ancient somehow to me. We don't have anything like that to my knowledge.
    We need to get our onions and garlic harvested and then it will be blackberry jam time.
    I'm due for a trip to Aldi so I'm hoping for some good deals there too.
    Blessings ladies

    1. Dear Jesse, Thank you so much! It is so beautiful knowing you have been with me all the time the girls are growing up!
      We have Banksias and Proteas which are kind of similar. South Africa has them I think. A lot of them are yellow but the pink ones... I cannot resist!
      Onion and garlic are so good to have great supplies of. Blackberry jam sounds just wonderful. I hope you find some good deals at Aldi. I love Aldi as it is always a surprise seeing what they have that week! With much love Annabel.xxx

  7. Love the farms. What a brilliant idea!

  8. What a lovely week and those farms that the girls made are fabulous! What a gift to have them serve others in so many ways. You are a wonderful example to them both.

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you! Thank you for seeing what I am doing too. They both felt so much joy in giving their creations to the boys and making afternoon tea special for Nana Pat. Next will be October holidays... I am planning we will get started on making presents for their teachers and various friends and people that help them and notes of love and thanks to go with them. The joy of giving is the whole idea. Thank you for your kind words, with love Annabel.xxx

  9. Debby in Kansas USA21 July 2023 at 07:00

    Annabel, I beamed at the farms! I did a similar project at my grandma's. I made a rabbit home in shoe boxes. I made several. My grandma loved Woolworths and their sewing/crafting section. When I went along, she always allowed me to pick out 2 lengths of trimming. I think it was about 1/4 yard of each. I always picked pom pom trim for one and lace for the other. I cut the pom poms off and glued them together to make rabbits. Scrap felt for their ears and eyes, lace and fabric scraps for their clothing. From food boxes, I made beds, dressers, etc. I just loved making them. My grandma was always giving me bits and bobs to add in. So much fun!

    So sweet of the girls to make them for their cousins. And Harper's pillows are beautiful!

    Another thing I loved to do was to use the F encyclopedia (remember those?!) , break out my crayons and plain paper and copy the flags of the world. I was about 8, I think. My husband still marvels at how many flags I remember! I loved Canada and Lebanon best. I clearly had a thing for trees!!

    1. Dear Debby, It is so lovely how you remember your creations at your Grandmas. I always went for the pom pom trim too! I love the way you learned the flags of the world too! Creativity I think helps us all through life in so many ways. Lovely memories! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. Hello Annabel and everyone,

    What beautiful rosemary and proteas, I can hardly believe they were growing on the roadside! Lovely to see the little ones, and what a good job on that cushion and those farms. You can tell they had such a wonderful time.

    Here I am trying to keep on with just one extra thing a day. In the garden, I planted some more seeds (green onions, zinnias, zucchini, radishes) and mowed/edged/trimmed shrubs. The flowers are really blooming beautifully with all of the rain, and I will definitely plant vincas again next year - they have doubled in size in just a few weeks, and keep making new blooms. In the kitchen, I did a few small baking sessions on different days (challah bread, candy cookies, 60 fresh won tons, peach cobbler cake), and popped the scallion root ends into some water to regrow the tops. Aside from regular housekeeping, the fridge and inside freezer got a good clean-out and reorganization. Crafts-wise, I fully finished 3 cross-stitches and put a few stitches in 2 more pieces as I had a few minutes. This weekend I hope to get some of my cuttings and strawberry runners potted up, and maybe make some soap for the gift cupboard. The bay window looking out over our garden looks to me like it may need replaced, so I've asked for a quote from a local contractor who has done lovely work for us in the past.

    My husband is doing ok. We spent 2 half days at the hospital for a procedure (went well!) and oncology visits. He has another procedure on Wednesday next - praying it goes well, since it is a repeat of the one he had done in hospital a couple of months ago - and then chemo on Thursday. It is probably a good idea to do a fresh produce and dairy trip to the grocery store this weekend, too.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Kathy, Thank you so much! The tree and rosemary are right on the roadside but years ago this was out the front of an old timber mill. Now it is all deserted. So I guess these were planted out the front. I notice everything when I am driving! :)
      I am glad your husbands procedure went well. Yes I think with Wed being another big day what you do this weekend will help you very much... but you always do just masses on the weekends!
      I thought your garden was looking gorgeous and I loved the cross stitches (for anyone reading Kathy shares photos in The Tuesday afternoon club on fb) You achieved a lot! Your beautiful baking must be helping your husband keep up with the calories he needs as I know weight loss is not what he needs while going through chemo etc. You are fantastic with all you manage and how you help your husband with each step. With much love Annabel.xxx

    2. Dear Kathy, you have my admiration for all that you do. Prayers for your husband and for you from far away. Laura_s_world from Romania

  11. Boy, oh Boy, Annabel! You are one good, ambitious, and creative Grandma!! I feel like making a farm, myself! We had half an attic, my sister and I, with built in beds under the eves. I was 6 or 7 and my sister 2 or so. Our Dad used a sheet of plywood for a farm with dowel fencing, animals, and even a train. Kept us busy enjoying being on the farm just like the real farm our Nan and Pop had in the country!
    Donna is so improved, you wouldn’t believe it! Before a friend could start gathering memories from her, she already had 5 grocery list pages filled!! Then I’ll add more when we’re there fir her birthday next month. She’s hoping you’ll be pleased enough, Annabel, to feature her story in the blog!! You and the Bluebirds have really “turned on the lights,” so to speak! Such enthusiasm in her phone calls now!!
    Still in the 90’s but frequent rain, finally! One stem if my clematis had 4 flowers and 6 buds!! Papayas coming great!
    Well, that’s about it! Was so worried all week — I thought you’d stopped the blog, were ill, or blog connection broken! Luckily my heart started up again!
    Continue to enjoy your family 1st!! Love your pictures, as always!
    Much Love to you and yours and all the Bluebirds,
    Rick in Florida and Donna in NW Indiana XXXX

    1. Dear Rick, Thank you so much. I am not sure if you emailed me... if you did it hit a bird or I didnt realise it was you so do again brinkzi21@hotmail.com I am so glad to hear Donna is doing so well and also her memory is so good! I think one memory sparks another as one thing reminds us of another. I will love to feature her story. I would love to be able to ask her some questions, I would start with I guess what are her earliest memories and what years were they?
      The Clematis sounds like it would be beautiful! Because of not posting Monday I had a lot to report! I will say... this Mondays post... will be something maybe Donna could chime in on after you read it to her.. you will see! Thanks for missing me! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. It sounds like you, your mother and the granddaughters and a wonderful time together! It's good to teach children to think of others, those farms look wonderful! My grandsons would enjoy them also.

    It's also good to teach grandchildren to work. We had a major wind/thunderstorm yesterday afternoon and the yard is covered with sticks. Today's afternoon at Grandma's is going to be spent picking up sticks, their reward, blueberry cobbler with ice cream!

    1. Dear Gretchen, I 100% agree with you. We make work fun and we fill paper shopping bags with sticks and pinecones for the fires! We have pine trees behind the house with the hugest pinecones. They girls are good with helping me with my animals etc and all this is worked in as it all needs doing. Little Sidney says he is going to work if you ask him where's he going. Little Tom says he's busy he has work to do and he is digging and "fixing" things. I do not understand people who do not have their children helping. By helping they learn and grow self esteem as they are important to the workings of the family.
      Blueberry cobbler sounds just delicious! Thank you so much! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Annabel, I think the girls making farms to gift to Sidney and Thomas might be the cutest thing you’ve ever posted! They look amazing and I love how much care they took to make such special gifts. Great idea! Harper should be very happy with the horse cushion, it’s gorgeous. What a beautiful week you’ve had.

    It was back to school here this week. It always takes a bit of getting used to the change in routine. I bought a school uniform jacket for my son for next year second hand, less than half the price of a new one and it’s in perfect condition. I also bought three shirts for less than the cost of one new. I am always on the watch! I’ll have three sons at the same high school next year so I’m trying to buy what I can throughout the year. There is heavy demand for used uniform at the start of the school year so I try to find it earlier.

    I’ve been juicing lots of lemons and freezing the juice in ice cube trays. I love having lemon juice in the freezer. I’ve baked banana bread and a vanilla cake this week and I think we’ll do some more baking in the weekend.

    Have a relaxing weekend after such a fun week!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen,
      I remember back to school Mondays like it was yesterday. I would begin a giant clean up and back to the routine! Great job getting the uniform jacket and shirts to put away for next year. This would have added up to a huge saving!! I am working on lemons today! They are beautiful. Like you I want to get them all pout away while they are still really good and fresh. The kids would have loved the banana bread and cake... no doubt that went in some lunch boxes or was demolished after school. You really had great savings! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful buildups and photos. I love the smiles on your grands….children and grands are such a blessing. The flowers and rosemary are lovely .
    Our part of Kansas is still under a drought:(. Our tomatoes are beginning to ripen! The okra is growing , finally. I was blessed with tomatoes, really nice ones. So, I put up pasta sauce,salsa, and black bean and corn salsa. The tomatoes from our garden, if not eaten or given away , will just be canned! Last year as such a very poor tomato crop, that I m not letting anything pass, we re using one way or another. If time in the day, I crochet a bit, next week is to be in the 100*+ so I may be indoors more and getting more work on that project. We have been getting up at dawn and riding our bikes on the country roads for a 10-15 miles. Our grandsons are taking runs coming for. Week visit each, certainly going to enjoy them! We ll have some adventures I am certain. Thanks again for sharing and keeping us motivated

  15. I love your tea towels!! I have a question. Do you wash the waffle weave fabric before making them?

    1. Hi Annabel and other Bluebirds,
      I am also interested in this. I have collected some white waffle pillowcases for a tea towel project and plan to match them with floral linen on the reverse.The waffle fabric doesn't seem thick or absorbent enough though. I am thinking that maybe if I wash and put through the dryer both layers before I sew them they should be both pretty and practical.

  16. Such a fun day! I love the idea of making a farm like that - and what a wonderful gift. It's so good that Harper takes to sewing. Even if she doesn't keep up with it, it is something she will always know how to do if she needs it. I don't do a lot myself, but everything comes back when I get out the sewing machine. Even if you don't do things all the time - just learning and knowing you can do things if you have to is a good thing!

    1. Dear Kathy, Thank you so much. Yes I think the skill of sewing is always going to help in later life. I am into teaching all the skills I possibly can. Everything is seen by kids are as fun and interesting so they are like little sponges! Many thanks, Annabel.xxx

  17. Those farm boxes are fabulous! What a lovely idea and the girls did so well. I can tell their boy cousins were thrilled.

    My husband is finally well after 3 weeks of diverticulitis. He isn't 100%, but close.

    I picked 2-3/4 lbs. of green beans from my raised garden this week. We ate some, I gave some away and we refrigerated the rest. I will be getting another picking today and I plan to can beans tomorrow. My friend with the raspberries gave me some and my husband ate them--"will work for raspberries," LOL.

    Tomorrow a friend is going to help me remember my crocheting skills (which are few). I plan to make a potholder with your sc 1 dc 2 stitch. It's that stitch that prompted me to get out my yarn, needles and hooks. I had to untangle a whole skein of yarn that my dog unraveled! It has been at the bottom of my knitting bag for a couple of years because I couldn't bear to deal with it. I'd like to tell you that it was easy to roll, but I'd be lying if I did! But it is done!
    --Maxine, aka mikemax

    I stocked up on furnace filters. I buy them by the case because they are an odd size and hard to find.

    Best wishes to all of the Bluebirds!

    1. Dear Maxine, I am so glad your husband is feeling better. I am glad you are taking up the crochet, remember do the reverse on the next row and so on.
      The beans are great!! A good harvest! Free raspberries are very nice too!
      Thanks so much! With love Annabel.xxx

  18. Good morning Annabel,
    I love the farms the girls made for the boys. The photos of them all together are just gorgeous and you can see the love they have for each other shinning through. I can see the girls enjoying making wee doll's houses with cardboard boxes,old wallpaper,material furniture,etc.
    I am amazed at the roadside protesa you are able to pick. They are one of my favourite plants. I really love plants that have a lot of structure and shape to them.
    We are having a very wet winter this year. Completely different to the dry ones of the past few years.
    This weekend is a quiet one for us, which I like after a busy week at work. I will be making more lemon curd with lemons from our tree,yoghurt, and some baking.
    Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe.


    1. Dear Mandy,
      Thank you! I love your dolls house idea! We also have had a very wet winter which is great for us. Today a change is coming in so hopefully we will get a bit more rain. We want to keep it going.
      I am also making lemon curd! Today! Lemon curd stirred through yoghurt is gorgeous... just saying.
      Hope it has been a good week so far... with love Annabel.xxx

  19. I was delighted to see the farms that your granddaughters made for your grandsons. A wonderful effort and obviously appreciated.

    Those children are so fortunate to be immersed in real life. You are an exceptional grandmother. Happy for all of you.

    1. Thank you so much Rita! xxx

  20. Annabel
    What a wonderful time with the girls and I love the things they made, the mini farms are such a great idea! And the proteas are gorgeous, they look so cheerful.
    As for me the garden is full swing now so I'm starting to harvest some here and there, but still lots of weeding and hopefully soon the canning begins.
    We have had some rain which is so nice because it has really helped with watering the gardens and on hot days I hang out the laundry.
    I have some tea towels ready to sew and I got a big surprise from a beautiful friend! I hope everyone has a lovely week.

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I am glad you keep getting some rain to help with the watering. Your sewing has been going so well as well as your gardening! Many thanks and much love! Annabel.xxx

  21. Dear Annabel, all I can say is this post is exquisite, just so beautiful from beginning to end and the essence of what you remind us of every week. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, Thank you so much for your kind words. With love Annabel.xxx

  22. Hello Blue Birds! This is a wonderful post, I always enjoy seeing your grands having fun and learning at the same time! The tray idea would work for my grand boys I think. I have three.
    I added in blue berries, apples, and some bottled water this week to the pantry. I am still trying to add some extra storage here and there. This is not easy with small spaces. I am still layering in shredded paper, like Jane showed in her raised bed awhile back on the Tuesday group, that group. the Blue birds and
    sweet little Spencer are all I really miss not being on facebook anymore. The paper has worked well with the container pots to conserve moisture.
    I managed a few more roadside flower finds that just bring me joy. Our weather has not cooperated for garden plants but I do have some new ones coming on, tomatoes squash, and tiny bell peppers. My cardboard box potatoes are growing well still. I have only had one animal, a ground hog or a deer I think, to try and raid the box. Only one spud was uncovered. More soil and paper, plus an old pallet piece has stopped it for now.
    It has been easier to buy from my street vendor, but even he has had problems getting stock to sell. I try and think.of each item as a blessing, and not take any for granted. Blessings! Annie ( Ann Austin)

    1. Dear Annie, An alternative to the farm box would be a dinosaur box, little boys are just so sweet.
      You added great items to your pantry! This week I have worked every day on cleaning out cupboards, organising them better etc. I have found space I didnt know I have. For toilet paper a shelf on the inside of the bathroom above the door creates a space! A big space! Nice baskets can go up there too. I will do a report on ways to find space.
      I am glad you also had roadside flower finds! I love that! Each item is a blessing! It is great about the potatoes and using the shredded paper! I had some more shredded paper recently and shared it with Chloe for around her fruit trees to keep the grass from choking them. It works! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxx

  23. What a lovely idea for you to have the girls make "farms" for your grandsons.
    The flowers and rosemary are beautiful. Harper's pillows are fantastic!
    I have to admit, this blog and the bluebirds keep me attentive to my duties. Now that I am in my 50s, I desire to slow down. But this gang, especially you Annabel, prods me to be my most productive self.
    Our garden is heavy with lettuce and dill. I got a good deal on cukes and made refrigerator pickles. With the heat, my "barber shop" has been busy. This saves us $25 a head. My husband found a huge box a produce left at a local thrift store. Bread, snacks and veg.
    What a blessing!
    I catch up on baking on cooler days with my 13 year old daughter. My 15 year old daughter and I are making an English pieced paper quilt together. What fun! And we'll have a nice gift for a friend when we are finished.
    Blessings to all,

    1. Dear Leslie, I am so happy to hear we are motivating to you. I am sixty. It is not good to slow down and not the time. I have noticed in the US there seems to be a view of being older than say we thing of 50s or beyond. Here it is nothing to start university and study to become a dr or whatever in your fifties.
      The garden sounds fantastic! I love your barber shop and yes that amounts to such a lot of money saved.
      I love your activities with your daughters. They must be very capable and enjoy this. With much love Annabel.xxx

  24. Dear Annabel,
    What beautiful grandchildren you have! Oh, they are so blessed to have you as Nana. I love the little farm sets and how cute the boys' reactions were. John recently did something similar with an aluminum food tray, but his was dinosaur themed! I am sure we will have to make a farm tray now!
    As you mentioned building up health and fitness, I have been on a gut healing program and it has really helped me with some issues. Colton is doing it with me for support, but he started a keto diet back in March and has lost 40lbs with no signs of stopping. I am so proud of him.
    I finally got the boys' new (used) beds cleaned up and polished. James was so thrilled to have his "big boy" bed. As we moved things around, their room got a deep cleaning.
    Our guineas have started laying eggs! We only have two but would like to eventually get more. I have been trying to be more diligent this week about saving scraps for the animals and compost pile.
    I got some bushes planted in the front flower beds.
    My FIL gave me a stack of newspapers, which I use for cleaning and I also made up a batch of shower cleaner.
    I have started crafting again, which I love. It is so therapeutic. I made over some free journals using what I had on hand. My focus this week has been "free".
    Thank you for such a beautiful post, Annabel!

    1. Dear Kelsey, I saw your journals over on the blog and I am just so happy you are crafting again. You are like me... busy with the home the garden and crafting = happiness! It is wonderful about the boys beds. They looked to be really nice. That is amazing abut Colton. I know Keto works a dream. Lucky you have all those eggs as they would be a great help!
      This week has already flown by! I hope it has been good for you! With much love Annabel.xxx

  25. Dear Annabel,
    What a gorgeous post. You are a wonderful Nana and it was such a delight to see the girls building their farms and then gifting them to their cousins. How precious. The girls clearly loved making them, and did the most fantastic job, and they also felt the joy of giving. Double win 💕
    Also having the girls organise afternoon tea for Nana Pat was a beautiful idea too. You are teaching them so any great values and enjoying time with them at the same time. What lucky little girls they are.
    I must say the girls are both beauties as well as cute and the little boys are sweet too.
    I can’t remember how long I’ve been following you, but it was way before grandies. You are such a treasure to us all Annabel. We learn so much from you and you give all of yourself to us. Thankyou always 🙏🏻
    Loved your proteas and Rosemary. Harper really has done a brilliant job on her pillow. How accomplished on the machine at such a young age. Blessings to Nana Pat for teaching her. You are making memories to last a lifetime, for both you, Pat and the girls.
    Enjoy your week lovely Bluebirds,
    Love, Lorraine. 💕💕💕

    1. Dear Lorraine,
      Thank you for such kind words and encouragement. What a journey we have been on! This has been a busy week and almost over already! We had a rain storm overnight and now sunny and gorgeous day! I have lots to report. I hope it has been a good week for you! With thanks, Love Annabel.xxx

  26. Annabel what a productive week you had being given lovely pumpkins and picking up lovely rosemary to propagate, picking lovely proteas and making a heat bag for your friend. Harpers cushions are beautiful she has done such a great job and they looked like they had a great time making the farms to give to the boys.

    In the home -
    DH went through all his clothing and packed up what clothing was too big for him and we took them to the men's shed for our garage sale trail around town and sold some of them. We will be doing the same for another event that is coming up and hopefully sell most things and what we don't we will take to the local op shops and donate them.

    In the kitchen
    We made 2 loaves of wholemeal and white bread in our bread making machines saving $7.24 over buying them in our local stores.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Added more money into our bills account and emergency funds after paying off our home and are now up to 6 months worth of our bills in our bills account.

    Purchases -
    From WW on sale bought 2 x 750g bags of cashew nuts for $10 ea reduced from $18 ea and 1 x 2lt BBQ sauce on half price sale for $3.75, used our 4% off e-gift card from RACQ to save $20.70 on usual prices.
    From Office works we bought a new computer printer as our old one is on it's way out on sale for $39 reduced from $98 saving $59 on usual prices.
    From two op shops we purchased 34 sturdy plastic coat hangers, 12 clip hangers, 3 sturdy coat hangers, 12 crocheted coat hangers and 24 wooden coat hangers for $7.50. This saved us $59.13 on buying them new in our area or online. Aunt will be gifted the wooden coat hangers so she can do crochet covers for them which she will love.
    - From IGA we purchased 2 x 4pk cheese and bacon rolls reduced to $3.49 ea and 6 x 6pkts of large hamburger buns reduced from $3 to $1.80 ea saving in total another $10.69 on usual prices. We have frozen the hamburger buns for future use.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.

    Lorna (SW Queensland Australia).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      Going through the wardrobe and taking stuff to the mens shed was great. I daresay there is a big need for mens clothes there. Our thrift stores here never get much mens clothing they say because I think most men around here are farmers and their clothes are too worn out. So things that no longer fit and are in good condition are snapped up very fast.
      Well done on the six month mark of emergency funds. That is fantastic. You have achieved great things with your consistency!
      The coat hangers were a good deal and the plain ones for your Aunt to work on will be very nice for her. You had big food savings too! I also found buns in packs of four, heavily discounted so I got two packs, took them apart and froze individually. So handy!
      It has been a really busy (but good) week, I hope it has been the same for you too! We had pouring rain last night which was good! With love Annabel.xxx

  27. I love the thoughts of picking rosemary by the side of the road. That is so cool. That won't happen here but I do have some in my herb planter though.
    I love those farm scenes. How cool and it kept them so busy too. You certainly had your hands full this week but you were very well prepared. Maybe someday I'll get it together for the farm scenes. Very nice idea.
    I do so much work outside here but I know I need to walk more. I'll get with it next week hopefully. Have a good week.

    1. Dear Vicky, I drive around with my head on a swivel lol. The farms could have been dinosaur parks too I considered this... maybe another time.
      Wear a pedometer... and see how many steps you are doing on an ordinary day. You might be surprised. I am up at about 8000 now and it has not taken too much to get the extra. I hope in Spring I get to the 10000. Its a goal!
      Thanks so much Vicky, With love Annabel.xxx

  28. Vicki, Here in Georgia we have wild asparagus that grows at roadside. I keep saying I shall mark off where they are and go harvest but never have done so.

    Hello all,
    Annabel what a lovely time you must have had with the girls. Soon the little boys will be big enough to want their time at Nana's house as well!

    This past week I harvested more tomatoes and two green onions. My potatoes, sweet potatoes are doing well and the bell pepper are pulling along. I noted this afternoon that I've more tomato blooms so I am grateful for the rain and the milder temps we've had these past few days. I have one tiny egg sized eggplant on my white eggplant. I have shown my husband the next lot of raise beds I want and explained to him how I want to set them up so that I can quadruple planting space by next spring.

    Two trips to the grocery this week but I was very mindful of not spending on anything that wasn't necessary.

    I am smack in my usual July occupation and shall carry over to August, my 'frugal bootcamp'. I've chosen to study the advice and money saving ways from the early 1900's. I am also brushing up on the old housekeeping advice as well.

    We made it through July which was heavy with the unexpected expenses of a family member. Now we hunker down and hope that August will be a slightly less demanding month.

    1. Dear Terri,
      Your garden is going great! Expanding to more raised beds will be good for next year. Raised beds are just so much easier and they grow so much! I love them!
      I love that you are looking at old fashioned housekeeping. I have Mrs Beetons books which are wonderful!
      I hope as you say August can be a catching up month after the extra expenses of July. With much love Annabel.xxx

  29. What a beautiful and inspiring post Annabel. The closeness of your family radiates through. It is beautiful indeed to see young ones being taught so well on all manner of subjects. They are very lucky to have such wonderful role models in their lives. It warms my heart to know good values are being instilled ❤️

    I am busy, busy, busy in my home and garden lately. The citrus is in full production and I have been making cumquat marmalade and lemonade marmalade! I’ve been building up sections of my veggie garden with manure and compost in readiness for Spring planting. Speaking of which I’ve planted seeds of all sorts in seed raising trays, I am so hopeless at growing things from seed, but I keep trying! LOL

    I’m building up my worm farm again, I had neglected it for some time, but to my surprise I found a good number of worms had survived, so I am on a mission to recharge them! I need all the forms of free compost and fertiliser that I can get to save money in the garden.

    Speaking of which, the universe “gave” me a compost tumbler for free this past week, so I spent an afternoon raking up leaves and mulching them to make leaf compost!

    The weeks are flying by and I’m whacked at the end of each and every day, sometimes it’s hard to remember what I’ve done, but I know I’ve been busy!

    From Cheryl 🐦

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you so much. You have been busy! On very good things! I agree... we need to consider and use everything to build up our soil and fertilise the garden. I look at everything... eggshells, left over tea, coffee, veggie water.. stinging nettles... and so on. The feeling of being tired every evening and getting a lot done is so good. If I didnt jot down a few things and take photos I would never remember half of what I did either! Fridays are good as it makes a difference to see what we did achieve and feel happy about it. With much love Annabel.xxx

  30. Your grandgirls are so invested in that project, and how sweet that they got to give them to the cousins! My boy cousin was my best friend growing up, and we are still super close. I spent many afternoons at my grandmother's house and while we didn't do projects like this, I cherished that time. She was like a mother to me. I just visited her last weekend. She is 91 years old and still beats all of us at Scrabble! How wonderful that you have rosemary growing roadside like that. The protea flowers are so pretty. They remind me of tulips.
    We finally have some ripe tomatoes to enjoy. Usually we have ripe ones by July 4, but this year was so much cooler than normal...at least I guess that's what delayed them. We also enjoyed green beans and zucchini. One of my zucchini plants is 5 feet tall! I've been gardening for 25 years and have never had one like that. I think it is from the bags of rabbit poo a friend gave me, which I put in that raised bed. My daughter traveled to visit a college friend about 4 hours away, so I sent many zucchini and tomatoes for the friend's mom.
    My summer vacation is coming to a close. Teachers report back on the 31st, and students go the following Monday. I'm trying to wrap up all the little projects I never finished over the past 2 months. This week I've taken a couple of loads of clothes to the consignment shop. I want to finish going through the closets and also try to shampoo the bedroom carpet before I go back. It's the only room that has carpet and it sorely needs attention.
    I have a bad habit of letting reward points, credits, and gift cards build up without using them. I like to see them grow. This week I tried to use some up. I had enough points from Peachskinsheets to get a new set for our bed. Split king is usually $125 per set, but I paid less than $12 shipped after reward points. I used $45 in Sam's Club points toward a dumbbell set my son has been asking for. I cashed out $50 in iBotta to buy a box of my hair color. At one of the consignment shops, my daughter picked out a few items she wanted and I had enough credit from previous dropoffs to pay for her things. It was nice to have less out of pocket expense.

    1. Dear Dianna,
      You have great memories of time at your Grandmothers and with your cousin!
      Wow on the zucchini! I have never seen one anywhere near that size!! I have heard Rabbit manure is one of the best for the garden.
      I hope you get everything done before you go back to teaching. Here our year ends in December and starts in Feb.
      It is good to use your points and gift cards. Put them to good use I say! You did really well! The week is almost over already! With much love Annabel xxx

  31. It's a month later. We are in the midst of a bad heatwave that will last all week. So very thankful to Father God for air conditioning.
    The pillowcases are wonderful. She did a great job!
    And I love the farmsets. When our sons were little, DH made them a farm on an old piece of plywood. I think it's still in the shop, hanging on the wall. Our youngest grandson loves all things tool related and is starting to like tractors. I think I'll make him a smaller version like your girls made.
    I've been harvesting cucumbers and the start of the tomatoes. I picked up a few potatoes that have pushed out of the soil. The herbs continue on nicely and somehow the greens keep growing even though I haven't watered them in weeks.
    I've canned 23 quarts of peaches for the grandkids. I've made 2 1/2-gal jars of fermented pickles. I've dried 2 pints of basil leaves and made 2 batches of pesto for the freezer.
    Next week, after the heat, we'll dig the potatoes and I'll be dehydrating them as shreds.
    We are well stocked up on food here except for the odd dairy item. I will be making elderberry syrup this week as cvid is around again.
    I'm slowly purging our clothing as we've both lost 20-40lbs doing fasting and keto. And I'm restocking the few items I need at the thrift store and watching sales. Other than maybe a new pair of walking shoes (trainers to you?) I should not need much of anything for the winter. We've been stocking up on undergarments and socks for the last 2 years.


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